AN elderly Orange woman believes the relocation of Orange’s Medicare office will cause hardship for the city’s seniors.
The office will move from the Orange City Centre to the Centrelink building over the rail line near the Five Ways.
The woman said it would be difficult to access Medicare for those arriving into the central business district by bus.
“I am an elderly lady who makes my way down to Orange on the bus,” she said.
“Where Medicare is located at the moment is really convenient for people like me.
“I can’t see how I am going to be able to make my way over the railway line to that side of town when Medicare moves.”
Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said Medicare would become part of a “one-stop-shop” hub of government services.
“While there hasn’t been a date confirmed for the co-relocation of Medicare and Centrelink offices in Orange, the department is planning to bring these services together later in the year,” Mr Jongen said in a statement said.
Mr Jongen said feedback from the Orange community had been positive since the Summer Street office opened last year.
“While there were initial parking issues at the Summer Street office, this has settled down as locals have become more familiar with the office and its parking arrangements,” he said.
“Parking and accessibility are always taken into consideration when the co-location of services is considered.”
Medicare is also set to go cashless later this year with only 8 per cent of transactions last year processed using cash.
“The move to electronic payment methods means all Medicare benefits will be paid straight into a bank account,” Mr Jongen said.
From later this year customers can choose to receive their benefit by electronic funds transfer overnight or by swiping their card to receive an instant payment.
Mr Jongen said this was part of a nationwide change with 26 other Medicare sites already on a cashless system.