'It was like Vietnam’s Mekong Delta with fewer boats’: A GP's journey into the flood disaster

Dr Cam Hollows, the son of Fred, says people are still living in tents, shelters and cars

Dr Cam Hollows, the son of Dr Fred Hollows, treated people in flood-ravaged Coraki, in northern NSW, as the flood crisis unfolded.

The real disaster, he says, has been the failed response from the government. This is his story.

I’d been covering the Catholic hospital in Lismore for the first couple of days of the floods. With many other doctors cut off, we’d been treating patients offloaded from boats.

When I heard that Ballina District Hospital was being evacuated on 1 March to higher ground, I threw my medical kit in the back of a four-wheel drive.

I also dressed in my wetsuit and dive boots. I had my snorkel too.

As I drove into Ballina, power failed as we were passing the Big Prawn. It was scary. I knew if we couldn’t cross from West Ballina, we would be spending the night evacuating people in floodwater in the dark.

But we got to the hospital. It was