A FIVE-week wait for an Albury man to undergo a post mortem helped drive a motion for the CWA to lobby the NSW government to change the system.
Table Top branch secretary Janet Drummond successfully moved a motion at the CWA NSW conference in Albury on Wednesday to end autopsies being limited to Newcastle, Sydney or Wollongong.
"With....advances in forensic medicine it is very difficult to understand why rural and regional families have to endure long delays for results of a post mortem," the retired nurse told delegates.
"More than a quarter of the coroner's annual caseload is occupied by natural causes deaths that do not require an autopsy, with forensic pathologists usually determining a cause of death by reviewing the medical records of the deceased."
Mrs Drummond told The Border Mail after the motion passed that the case this year of an Albury man had contributed to her push.
His family was left waiting five weeks for his body to be returned after it was taken to Newcastle for a post mortem.
Mrs Drummond said it was unfair they endured anxiety and travel when the task could have been done in Albury.
"Wagga, Albury, Young and Bathurst all have the CT scanners and ultrasound pathology, they can do all that themselves," she said.
Mrs Drummond added online advances meant reports and patient records could now be more easily checked.
Her successful motion stated: "the CWA of NSW lobby the NSW Government to change the unreasonable monopoly of post mortems undertaken in metropolitan areas to regional and rural centres where there are PET and CT scanners available for such procedures."
In her speech to the conference, Mrs Drummond pointed to cases across NSW, including that of Gundagai motorist Mark Jones, who died in a crash last year.
His mother was left waiting 15 days to bury him after an autopsy was not allowed to be done at Wagga and his body was taken to Newcastle for examination.
"The topic is related to cost and the political will to see outside the boundaries of NSW, that is Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong," Mrs Drummond concluded to delegates.
Meanwhile, Bega branch member Stephanie Stanhope was yesterday elected NSW CWA president for the next three years, replacing White Cliffs' Annette Turner.