Heart truck keeps pump­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A VI­TAL ru­ral health ser­vice tar­get­ing higher- than- av­er­age heart prob­lems in re­gional ar­eas will keep tick­ing over fol­low­ing a $ 1 mil­lion grant.

The 25m long “Heart of Aus­tralia” truck, launched by Bris­bane car­di­ol­o­gist Dr Rolf Gomes, of­fers car­diac di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment in re­gional Aus­tralia and has seen more than 3300 pa­tients in 850 towns since 2014.

Dr Gomes said peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties were 44 per cent more likely to die of heart dis­ease, but a $ 1 mil­lion grant from the Fed­eral Govern­ment would al­low them to ex­pand their ser­vices and see more pa­tients.

“We have saved more than 120 Queens­lan­ders suf­fer­ing pre­vi­ously un­di­ag­nosed crit­i­cal car­diac con­di­tions,” he said.

Queens­land LNP sen­a­tor Barry O’Sul­li­van said the truck could serve as a tem­plate for ac­cess to more types of med­i­cal ser­vices in ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties. “This bus is a game changer for the de­liv­ery of re­li­able and qual­ity spe­cial­ist health ser­vices,” he said.

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