Local nurses took part in a statewide strike on Tuesday, calling for a higher nurse-to-patient ratio and a pay increase.
In both Inverell and Armidale nurses gathered together to urge the state government to act.
While the Inverell nurses protested outside the hospital, in Armidale the health workers were outside the office of Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Although Mr Marshall was not there, with parliament sitting this week, which was where the state's largest protest took place, with thousands of nurses marching down Macquarie Street.
Closer to home, Nadia Makeham, president of the Armidale branch of the nurses union, said as well as the nurse-to-patient ratio and a pay increase, the nurses were also requesting a covid allowance for staff looking after covid patients.
"We're really tired of everyone saying that we're coping because the system is not coping. We're breaking," she said.
"Christmas and New Year was pretty bad, especially when we had that major outbreak with Omicron, and we had staff on holidays.
"We were short-staffed to begin with, so people were doing hours of overtime and double-shifts, trying to cope."
Mr Marshall, speaking to the Times from Sydney, where he was in parliament was supportive of the local nurses.
"I stand side by side with our local nurses and midwives - as well as all our region's amazing medical staff - and fully support their efforts to secure better pay and conditions," he said.
"Never before has our health system, and the people who work within it, faced the challenges it has in the last two years. Our nurses and other medical staff have met that challenge, working tirelessly on the frontline keeping our communities safe and healthy.
"We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude and thanks for their dedication - they never stopped working to support us during the pandemic - but also our full support and action to improve their conditions at work and to train and employ even more nurses in our local hospitals," he said.
Mr Marshall said he would be using the first Parliamentary sitting week of 2022 this week to speak in Parliament in support of our local nurses and midwives and would also be meeting with the Health Minister to advocate on behalf of our local frontline health workers.
"I'll continue to do everything I can as a local MP to support and fight for our local nurses and health staff. In my view, they deserve nothing less," he said.
A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health said that situation did not occur regularly, but was standard procedure when there were staff shortages.
"Sometimes these things do happen, and on short notice, we might not be able to have an anesthetist, particularly with the current COVID environment," they said.
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