Heart of Australia has come to the aid of the people of NSW when they needed it most this week amidst torrential rain and flooding along the east coast. With many medical services on hold due to the unusual weather event, Heart of Australia was able to deliver life-saving cardiology clinics in the NSW/Queensland border community of Goondiwindi on Tuesday March 1.
A quarter of the patients attending this clinic were from NSW. Since Heart of Australia’s inception in 2014, more than 250 patients from rural, regional and remote NSW communities such as Moree, Tamworth and Boggabilla have voted with their feet and hopped across the border to attend Heart of Australia clinics in Goondiwindi as well as other locations including Stanthorpe and St George. NSW residents have been able to access high quality Brisbane-based specialists through the funding from the Federal Government and generous partners.
Patients have all been referred by their GPs for specialist appointments on the Heart trucks in Queensland where the service is funded to operate. Specialities offered in these border towns are cardiology, geriatric medicine, endocrinology and gynaecology. Moree resident Sylvia Broderick’s husband Harold, 82, is a cardiology patient at the Goondiwindi clinic where he sees Professor Darren Walters. “It is much more convenient being able to travel to Goondiwindi than to get to Toowoomba or Tamworth for Harold’s cardiology care,” Mrs Sylvia Broderick said. “Travelling to Tamworth in one day would be over six hours of driving which is unsafe and stressful. Being able to go to Goondiwindi saves us time, stress and money which are all important when you live in a regional community such as Moree.”
Heart of Australia founder Dr Rolf Gomes said he was particularly proud of the efforts of Heart of Australia medical specialists, medical aids and drivers at Goondiwindi this week, for helping the people of NSW in dire circumstances. “It is rewarding to help people from NSW in regional, rural and remote areas when they need Heart of Australia to beat the tyranny of distance and when they are living in terrible weather conditions,” Dr Rolf Gomes said. “Word is spreading in northern NSW that Heart of Australia is a reliable medical specialist service. And we don’t turn people away.” Heart of Australia has approached the Federal and NSW Governments to provide the Heart of Australia mobile medical specialist service in western NSW so that the services can be accessed by more people who live in these remote communities.