How many of the 5000 new nurses promised during the March state election campaign have been employed at Shoalhaven and Milton hospitals?
One would think it's a pretty simple question?
It's a question we have been asking NSW Health, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and state MPs since October 23.
But is still to receive a definitive answer.
The 2019-20 ISLHD budget is more than $998 million.
The health district and the Berejiklian government are proudly boasting that is an increase of more than $40 million on the 2018-19 budget.
They are quick to roll out those figures and others as to show how well the health system is performing but when it comes to providing a few other specifically requested figures, they are not so forthcoming.
We have been told it is "too early to provide that sort of data" and "as budgets run on financial years, exact data will not be available until the 2019/2020 EOFY".
So for all the big announcements, there appears to be no follow -up.
Surely, it is not that hard to actually find out how many nurses were employed or being paid at our local hospitals in March, compared to now.
A small business would certainly be able to tell you how many people get paid each week, fortnight etc.
Admittedly the ISLHD is a much bigger organisation, with thousands on thousands of employees.
But surely there is a bean counter somewhere who can say we paid XXXX number of nurses last week.
We tried to get the figures out of the ISLHD, but were told it couldn't supply such information at this time.
We contacted Health Minister Brad Hazzard's media team - no response, at all, not even an email acknowledging it had received our questions request. Emails to local MPs Shelley Hancock and Gareth Ward were initially met with silence.
We followed up a week later and got a response from Shelley's office on November 1 and Gareth's office on November 4.
It was the same response we received from the ISLHD on October 23 when it was brought to light claims the health district budget had been cut and patients were being advised to bring their own toiletries to Shoalhaven District Hospital.
In the release on October 23, and the same one sent from Gareth Ward's office (November 4), ISLHD chief executive Margot Mains welcomed the announcement earlier this year that NSW would receive an increase of 8300 frontline staff over the next four years, which would benefit our community.
"Between mid-2012 and mid 2019 the ISLHD increased its workforce by an additional 1080 full time equivalent staff," Ms Mains said.
"Our priority is always the quality and safety of our health services and to ensure our health funding is spent as wisely as possible to benefit the community."
It then went on to again address the toiletry issues.
"The NSW Government is investing $434 million for the upgrade of Shoalhaven Hospital which will not only ease the pressure on the emergency department but enhance clinical care across the hospital network and meet the needs of the growing Shoalhaven population," the release stated.
We were told by Mr Ward's office, in addition, the NSW Government has committed $2.8 billion for 8300 frontline health staff over four years (as promised during the election), which includes 5000 nurses and midwives, 1060 doctors, 880 allied health staff (pharmacists, social workers, physios), 1360 hospital support staff.
Between 2012 and 2019 the NSW Health workforce across the state increased by 17.6 per cent.
"As budgets run on financial years, exact data will not be available until the 2019/2020 EOFY," we were told.
We received the same response, if not an abridged version, from Mrs Hancock's office on November 1.
If we are asking these questions, surely other members of the community are as well.
Make the election promise - follow it through - provide the figures, show us the numbers.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association has also been trying to get an update to no avail.
Meanwhile, Shoalhaven District Hospital again experienced major bed block at the weekend, but that's another issue we will be talking up with the ISLHD.