News Archive: Sep 2018
In her delightfully lyrical manner of speech, Lillian Chow will tell anyone at all that without the Heart of Australia mobile specialist clinics – she wouldn’t be alive today. In fact, the lady is adamant on that point.
Born in Zambia and now resident in Emerald in Central Queensland, Lillian already had her airline ticket for a family-visit trip back to Africa, when she was referred to what’s affectionally known as The Heart Truck … only to find that she was on the edge, with cardiac artery blockages at extreme levels.
After emergency surgery in Brisbane to implant no fewer than 3 stents in her body and time for rehab, Lillian was back in her home of two years in Emerald.
An almost 60-years-old mother of five and grandmother of four, Lillian arrived in 2000 as a business migrant with her former husband – ”we waited seven years for Australian citizenship”- working in Sydney and Hobart.
“If not for the truck, for Heart of Australia … well, I wouldn’t be here …”
The celebrated Heart of Australia project has launched a bold new chapter in its mission to deliver specialist medical services to outback Queenslanders, with the launch of HEART2, its second truck.
The groundbreaking 34-wheel B-Double, Australian’s largest mobile medical clinic, features extra consultation rooms for a range of specialist services, including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology, has instantly expanded the project’s mobile delivery capacity – while also opening the way for a much broader range of specialist medical services to be offered onboard.
HEART2 will join HEART1, the original custom built 18-wheeler clinic which began delivering specialist services to the bush in 2014, turning the dream into a reality.
Dr Rolf Gomes told guests at the launch of HEART2 that the demand for medical specialist services in the bush required the expansion of both the fleet and the services being offered.
“Taking cardiologists to regional and remote towns has led us to see over 5,000 patients and helped to save more than 250 lives, but we know people’s health needs extend far beyond heart conditions which is why this second truck is so important.”
“The new truck will see gynaecologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, geriatric medicine specialists and endocrinologists joining cardiologists on the 8000 kilometres a month round trip across rural and remote Queensland.
“The goal is to be able to deliver not only the specialists but also state-of-the-art medical equipment needed to provide quality care. We say it’s about bringing Wickham Terrace to the bush – if you can find the equipment in my Brisbane clinic, you’ll find it on the truck,” Dr Gomes said.
A second truck also means doctors can spend more time treating patients and Heart of Australia can expand the service to another three towns on top of the 13 it already visits between Stanthorpe in the south and Charters Towers in the north.
“With just one truck, we were spending about half our time treating patients and the other half commuting,” Dr Gomes explained.
“Now we’ll spend 80 per cent of our time with outback Queenslanders and just 20 per cent driving, meaning the waitlist for people needing healthcare will reduce dramatically.”
It’s another big step towards our goal of having mobile specialist clinics on country roads right across Australia. The launch of our second medical truck is an excellent day for our team, for the people who have supported us, and most importantly for the people in the bush who we will be delivering specialist medical services to.
Because every Australian deserves access to quality healthcare, regardless of where they live.”