High profile journalist Liz Hayes has covered a lot of difficult stories in her career but none could have come as close as the one that devastated her own family.
In fact, it sparked her on a campaign to change the very foundations of our state's regional health system.
In 2019, Ms Hayes' father, Bryan Ryan, died from a catastrophic stroke at Manning Base Hospital in Taree after not being administered his prescribed anti-stroke tablets for eight days.
At a loss with the system's failings, Ms Hayes banded with prominent ABC journalist Jamelle Wells to share their stories about the tragic deaths of their fathers.
It was their advocacy that sparked a Parliamentary Inquiry.
These are people's lives and whether you're a worker at the coalface or a patient or a family who has had a terrible outcome ... It's devastating.- Liz Hayes
Now, the pair's stories join hundreds being heard at the inquiry into health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote New South Wales.
Established in September 2020, the inquiry received more than 700 submissions - some positive and many not so.
Now Ms Hayes has shared her story and her concerns about the current regional health state-of-play with Australian Community Media in its rolling series which examines how health will or will not cope post lockdown.
Ms Hayes said some of the submissions have been "harrowing".
"These are people's lives and whether you're a worker at the coalface or a patient or a family who has had a terrible outcome ... It's devastating," she said.
"My attention was drawn to this through my father's experience ... But it's not until you really dig deep into it that you realise its happening more regularly than you should feel comfortable about.
"Human error is always going to be there but it goes beyond human error.
"We have hospitals without doctors, nurses walking away and we have paramedics saying they are just taxi drivers.
"If you put all of that together, you have to say that it's not working and it's not servicing the people.
"In all, it reeks of a system that needs urgent attention. If anything should be in ICU, it's the rural health system."
But the over arching theme is clear, the State's regional healthcare system is in crisis with continuous complaints of under-staffing and lack of resources.
And according to a number of health care professionals, it will only get worse with a potential influx of COVID cases as the NSW reopens.
Ms Hayes believes the "broken" regional healthcare and hospital systems won't handle a potential influx of COVID cases.
"Right now, the system is broken. It's not able to look after you now before COVID knocks on your door.
"And when COVID knocks on your door ... if you have one or two cases, you can get away with it but it can multiply in a nanosecond and before you know it, a whole hospital has to isolate.
"It could potentially wipe out a country town's health service. All you can do at the moment is hope that it doesn't come to town."
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