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   Jul 05

Pensioner resorts to walking from Canberra to Wagga for medical treatment

Tireless health campaigner Craig Hesketh.
Nanjing Night Net

IN FREEZING,foggy conditions, an elderly pensioner battled the elements for eight hours, walking from Canberra to Wagga to receive medical treatment.

David Liekefett has become a symbol of humanity because he stopped his car and helped this man.

His humble Facebook post attracted hundreds of likes and shares.

“I found him on the Yass side of the Barton Highway,” hesaid.

“He seemed quite nice –he was just cold and he was really happy to be offered a lift.”

Mr Liekefett said the incident was a sad reflection on society.

“He was just a pensioner and he had no money,” he said.

“He had been walking since 1pm …I forgot to ask how he got there.

“But if I see people and they look like they need help, I pick them up.”

Mr Liekefettwas told the man had been seeing a specialist in Wagga, but those services were now only available in Canberra.

He was shockedhis random act of kindness had gone “viral”.

“I did feel bad when I saw him and I hope his situation improves and that he can have (easier ) access to services,” Mr Liekefett said.

Health campaigner Craig Hesketh said he hadheard similar stories of pensioners being forced to seek treatment in Sydney or Canberra, and believed regional people “bore the brunt” of rising health and living costs.

He said regional people had less options available closer to home.

“A lot of pensioners can’t afford private health cover and as services become harder to come by they are forced out of town to receive treatment,” Mr Hesketh said.

“Where there is less competition,the cost of health care is higher and there are more out of pocket expenses.”

The Daily Advertiser

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