A local NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) member is "disappointed" there is no dollar figure next to the Gunnedah Hospital upgrade in the state budget.
NSWNMA's Gunnedah delegate Heather Franke says with only the clinical services plan under way, she's worried that the upgrade won't begin before the next state election.
"When they get campaigning for the next state election, there'll be lots of backpadding and 'yes it's going to happen', but we've heard it all before," Ms Franke said.
"While it is good [Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson] keeps promising the hospital, it's only a promise, there's not enough there to say 'it'll happen on this date'.
"I can't see it happening prior to the next state election."
But Mr Anderson said because the clinical services plan was "close to being signed off", then the "process funding will be allocated".
"I wanted to make sure Gunnedah was included in this budget so it can be allocated when needed," he told the NVI on Wednesday.
He said, after the budget was announced on Tuesday, that he expected preliminary planning would cost about $500,000, and would be "pushing for the work to begin as soon as possible".
Ms Franke said another worrying issue was the lack of doctors in town, and said that the NSWNMA's priorities were now focused on that.
"Our priorities change and move and so I think for the community of Gunnedah, if we're not going to get that new hospital prior to the next election, maybe Mr Anderson could try and secure us some doctors," she said.
"He needs to talk to his government about how we do that and how we secure the doctors for the town."
In response, the MP simply said "everybody needs to work together on this", and pointed to the NSW Rural Doctors Network, the Primary Health Network, Hunter New England Health, and state and federal governments.