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Giving hearts a jump start


Posted on 22nd July 2015

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Truck docs make healthy house calls

john-andersen

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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
delivery of medicine to the 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 de- livery of medicine. This is where the rubber meets the 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.

HEARTFELT
ROAD TRIP: The Heart of Australia truck in Winton.