PHOTOS: These Cuts are Killing us rallies

Issue 

Hundreds of people rallied against the federal government's proposed cuts to health care in #These Cuts are Killing Us rallies around Australia.

Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth took to the streets to defend Medicare and against government plans to charge for previously free pathology tests which could lead to doctors having to charge at least $30 for blood tests, MRIs, x-rays, pap smears, urine tests, ultrasounds and more.

The federal government is talking about privatising the delivery of Medicare rebates. The privatisation of public service delivery will mean taxpayer money going into the pockets of private providers for worse service.

The new attacks on public health follow on from to introduce a GP co-payment.

In Sydney, Labor leader Bill Shorten was one of the speakers. A small way into his speech, rally goers began chanting "Let them stay", referring to the 267 refugees, including children and babies, that the Australian Labor Party supports being deported to Nauru. He kept talking, then stopped, and then said he was only going to speak about the cuts to Medicare — while the crowd kept chanting.

Other speakers including Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Judith Kiejda, general secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Nadine Flood, national secretary of the Commonwealth Public Sector Union and Dr Barri Phatarfod from Doctors4Refugees demanded that Medicare be defended from further spending cuts. All cited the appalling US health system as an example of where Australia must not end up.

General secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Judith Kiejda told the crowd: "Big business has the ear of this government every single day. You do not have this access — your voice is only heard when you come to rallies like today.”

Here are photos from around the country:

Sydney. Photos: Zebedee Parkes

The Socialist Alliance contingent. Photo: Pip Hinman

Melbourne. Photos: Ali Bakhtiarvandi

Adelaide: Photo: Gemma Weedall

Geelong

Perth. Photos: Alex Bainbridge

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