News Archive: Feb 2017
Dr Gomes established the Heart of Australia program in October 2014 to deliver front-line specialist cardiology services to those who live in regional, rural and remote area communities across Queensland.
As a result of seeing Australian Story, Mater and Heart of Australia have formed a partnership which will see Mater provide support to Heart of Australia to help ensure the continuation of its services.
Heart of Australia delivers fortnightly specialist medical investigation and treatment clinics to 13 regional, rural and remote area communities across Queensland using a customised road train—a specialist medical clinic on wheels.
Dr Kelly said after watching Australian Story he felt there was a strong alignment between the two organisations.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, Mater’s Mission is to meet unmet community need and the work of Heart of Australia perfectly fits that Mission,” Dr Kelly said.
“There is a disparity in health outcomes in rural areas compared to metropolitan areas in Australia, and this program is really making an impact to reduce the difference in patient outcomes for rural and remote patients,” Dr Kelly said.
“Many people living in rural and remote Australia don’t seek medical advice simply due to the fact that their nearest specialist medical service is so far away. Services like Heart of Australia are bringing critical medical services to people who otherwise would not have sought specialist medical advice, assessment and treatment.”
The Heart of Australia road train offers not only cardiology consultations but is equipped with the latest technology to enable echocardiograms, exercise stress testing, Holter monitoring and a range of other testing that may need to be performed.
“The Heart of Australia road train is technically very sophisticated,” said Dr Gomes.
“We have a group of cardiologists who provide their services to Heart of Australia and a range of other people involved such as sonographers and drivers as well as operational and admin staff, so scheduling everything is a logistical beast.”
Heart of Australia delivers fortnightly clinics to regional, rural and remote area communities across Queensland, including Dalby, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, St George, Charleville, Roma, Emerald, Barcaldine, Longreach, Hughenden, Winton Charters Towers and Moranbah.
In its second year of operation the Heart of Australia truck has travelled more than 150,000 km seeing over 2,600 patients and referring 30 of these for open heart surgery.
Our 2017 is flying high, literally, due to a renewed support package with the regional airline REX (Regional Express) Aviation.
Their support is crucial to delivering our travelling doctors and support personnel to bush communities to link up with our “Heart Truck” for our regular local cardiology clinics.
To quote REX Queensland manager, Steve Jones: “In keeping with our commitment to delivering critical services to regional Queensland, we had no hesitation in renewing our partnership with Heart of Australia for 2017.
“Our role in providing flights for the doctors and support team to travel to regional Queensland to meet the Heart of Australia truck is a simple yet imperative requirement and one that we are proud to fulfill”.
For the record, REX is Australia’s largest independent regional airline. It operates a fleet of more than 50 SAAB 340 aircraft on around 1,500 weekly flights throughout all states.
Thanks to REX for their faith in Heart of Australia’s “better health” work.