PEOPLE were urged yesterday to fight for their health system.
The success of the region campaign for a cancer centre was highlighted as an example of how politicians could be successfully pressured into acting on real need.
Border Medical Association chairwoman Tracey Merriman — who is also chairwoman of the medical consultative committee at Albury Wodonga Health — said there needed to be “a lot of noise”.
“We need the local region to realise just how their health is being affected because of underfunding from the government,” she said.
“We absolutely need the community not to let this go.”
Dr Merriman said the public needed to be aware that “huge amounts of cash” were needed to tackle inadequate health infrastructure on the Border.
More than 1400 people clad in yellow plastic ponchos took part in a rally on the Lincoln Causeway in August, 2010, as part of the community campaign to secure a $70 million cancer treatment centre.
A delegation also took the issue directly to Canberra, armed with a petition containing more than 17,000 signatures.
Dr Merriman said community needed to be reinvigorated.
“Healthcare enables people to stay at work, to provide for their families, to be out of pain,” she said.
“We are in a very, very poor way and once we lose specialists in the region and staff it’s going to be near-on impossible to attract people back up here.
“This really has to be heard.”