Truck docs make healthy house calls

Giv­ing hearts a jump start

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN AN­DER­SEN john. an­der­sen@ news. com. au

A KEN­WORTH truck and trailer fit­ted out with med­i­cal equip­ment and staffed by spe­cial­ists is sav­ing lives in the bush.

The 25m Heart of the Na­tion truck and trailer is equipped with two clin­ics and a daz­zling ar­ray of life­sav­ing equip­ment.

In the bush where peo­ple are 44 per cent more likely to die from heart dis­ease, it could just as well be called the Heart Starter.

Heart of the Na­tion is staffed by a spe­cial­ist team of car­di­ol­o­gists and res­pi­ra­tory spe­cial­ists on a ro­tat­ing ba­sis.

Since Oc­to­ber last year they have saved the lives of 48 peo­ple who oth­er­wise would have al­most cer­tainly died.

Queens­land Sen­a­tor Barry O’Sul­li­van, in Win­ton ear­lier this month where Heart of the Na­tion staff were treat­ing pa­tients, said it was the start of a ma­jor revo­lu­tion in the

This truck

here pulled up by the side of the road

has mod­ern equip­ment in it that saves lives.


de­liv­ery bush.

“This first truck car­ries staff de­liv­er­ing car­diac and res­pi­ra­tory care,” he said.

“Once upon a time gov­ern­ments had the ex­cuse that the di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment was too big to move around. They can’t use that ar­gu­ment any­more. This truck here pulled up by the side of the road has mod­ern equip­ment in it that saves lives.”

“There are no ex­cuses now for gov­ern­ments not to fund what is now this pi­o­neer­ing de­liv­ery of medicine. This is




the where road.”

Car­di­ol­o­gist and the man who pi­o­neered Heart of the Na­tion in Oc­to­ber last year, Dr Rolf Gomes, said that bring­ing the rev­o­lu­tion­ary health ser­vice to the peo­ple of the bush was an up­lift­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

He said he wanted to see the ser­vice ex­pand to where it pro­vided a lot more spe­cial­ist ser­vices.

“Know­ing you have saved lives be­cause the peo­ple have come to the truck is up­lift­ing. Peo­ple have had stents and surgery and their lives have been saved be­cause they came to the truck,” he said.

“I can do more with the equip­ment we have in the truck than I can do in my Bris­bane prac­tice.”

The As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Health, Sen­a­tor Fiona Nash, who also vis­ited Win­ton, said the mo­bile clinic would bring qual­ity car­diac and res­pi­ra­tory care to the peo­ple of ru­ral and out­back Queens­land.

Sen­a­tor Nash said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had pro­vided $ 250,000 to fit out the truck. Queens­land Gov­ern­ment and Arrow Energy also funded it.


rub­ber meets



ROAD TRIP: The Heart of Aus­tralia truck in Win­ton.

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