Mobile heart care clinics

Posted June 4, 2015

Dr_Gomes_Scott_Whybird

Dr Rolf Gomes checks Moranbah State High School Principal Scott Whybird’s blood pressure during a recent Heart of Australia launch event to announce the expansion in services.

More regional communities will have specialist cardiac care at their doorstep as Australia’s largest custom-built mobile clinic expands its Queensland services.

The Heart of Australia program, a partnership with Arrow Energy, will travel to Moranbah, Emerald, Charters Towers, Barcaldine and Hughenden twice a month to provide cardiac and respiratory services from a mobile clinic.

Project founder and cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes said the program extended city levels of care to people who might otherwise miss out.

“People living in rural or remote areas are 44 per cent more likely to die from heart disease than their city-dwelling counterparts,” Dr Gomes said.

“In partnership with Arrow Energy, we launched the Heart of Australia program in south-western Queensland last year and we have already seen hundreds of patients.

“The Heart of Australia program means people no longer need to drive long distances to city centres, for what might be a 20-minute medical consultation.

“It’s been humbling to have actually saved lives in our first months on the road by identifying patients who, without knowing it themselves, presented with health issues at critical levels.”

Heart of Australia’s 25m-long clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art specialist diagnostic equipment and technology, staffed by a team of cardiologists and respiratory specialists on a rotating roster.

Since its October 2014 launch, it has delivered a fortnightly service to Dalby, Roma, Charleville, St George and Goondiwindi.

A timetable and further information is available at www.heartofaustralia.com.

THE FACTS

• The clinic, towed by a Kenworth prime mover, has two consulting rooms, new ultrasound and cardiac stress testing equipment.
• Patients need a GP referral before undergoing a Heart of Australia consultation and specialist testing if required. Clinic consultations are a normal fee-for-service, in line with metropolitan rates.
• Heart of Australia is an extension of Arrow’s ongoing community investment. Since 2011, Arrow has invested more than $12 million in community projects across Queensland.
• Heart of Australia has also received funding and in-kind support from the Australian and Queensland governments, Bayer Australia, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, IOR Petroleum, Kenworth, Telstra Country Wide, Brown and Hurley, GT Insurance and Rex.

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