Rally hopes to 'save' Medicare

THE federal government's proposed $7 co-payment to visit the doctor will come under the microscope in Blacktown this Sunday.

A Save Our Medicare rally will be held at the Village Green from noon to protest against the proposed reform and other Medicare price rises due to come into affect from July 1 next year.

Speakers include state opposition leader John Robertson, federal opposition health spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek and doctors.

"We hope to get a good showing from the community before Parliament sits again in the next weeks and starts to implement these changes," United Services Union organiser Sandie Morthern said.

"Out of the federal budget, this is the one issue that affects every single Australian.

"For a family of four going to the doctor because they all have the flu, the co-payment will have an impact on the household budget."

Attendees will be given cardboard boxes to demonstrate a giant cut for Medicare.

"This is our last chance to stop the co-payment and show the government that Australia won't stand for it," Mrs Morthern said.

"We're expecting more than 2000 people to attend."

The plans for Medicare to relocate from Westpoint Blacktown to Centrelink on the other side of the railway line next month is also likely to be on the agenda.

Sun readers are still reeling from the recent news.

"I understand moving Medicare from Westpoint to the Centrelink building makes sense but what about the inconvenience to many people?" Irene Kearney wrote.

"A trip to Centrelink has one specific purpose. A trip to Westpoint can involve supermarkets and shopping for many things."

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