The damage caused by a flood that swamped the Numurkah Hospital, near Shepparton in northern Victoria, earlier this year is worse than first thought.
Authorities had hoped the main ward would have been repaired and re-opened by now, but it may be two years before the services are returned to normal.
It is unclear if the building is structurally sound and there is a chance it could be demolished.
For the past four months they have been operating out of tents but the nurses like Melva Waser are not complaining.
"We are warm. It gets a bit scary at night when the wind blows but it's good and you always have support," she said.
They have put up with the odd leak and a mid-winter heating breakdown to continue providing urgent care for hundreds of people around the district.
It saved Bec Fothergill a 30-minute drive to Shepparton when her daughter Rylee was ill earlier this month.
"We could have gone to Goulburn Valley Health but we were a bit put off going there. You have to wait a few hours for non-urgent cases," she said.
But the damage is worse than expected and the task of fixing the main hospital building is so big, engineers are not sure it is worth it.
Hospital chief executive Jacque Phillips says insurers and health department officials will make the final decision soon.
"It's an old building and you know there is all the wiring and plumbing and everything that has to be reinstated and that just needs to meet current standard," she said.
The tents will soon be replaced by more spacious portables but with the future of the main building in doubt, some locals fear it will not be rebuilt and that services will be relocated to Shepparton.
However the Government says full services will be returned to the community.
© ABC 2012
11:48 EST South Australia's month of recovery from a long dry spell is continuing with the state about to be graced with the most widespread rain since last winter, according to weatherzone.com.au.