Heart of Australia founder and cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes has just finished a tour of Childers to coincide with the forthcoming northern expansion of the organisation's mobile clinical services.
Heart of Australia currently operates two full-scale and one mini mobile medical clinic trucks.
The clinics travel on a fixed route throughout rural and regional Queensland, bringing specialist medical services and the state-of-the-art equipment they require to the communities where they are needed.
Since Heart of Australia commenced operations in 2014, they have seen over 8,000 patients and helped save over 350 lives.
Dr Gomes said part of his tour in Childers consisted of meeting with members of the community, including local GPs to discuss Heart of Australia's expansion plans to the area in mid-2020.
“Local GPs are the best-informed people when it comes to understanding the local medical needs in the communities where they live and work,” he said.
“Their knowledge and insights will be invaluable in helping Heart of Australia to develop plans for the new northern expansion, to ensure our plans reflect community-specific needs.”
The trip also allowed the Heart of Australia team to identify ideal potential sites to host the heart truck, being ones that are highly visible and easy for local community members to access.
The team acquainted themselves with critical roads and streets, which would assist in developing routes that can accommodate an oversized heart truck.
Dr Gomes said the expansion of services to Childers was being made possible thanks to a $12 million funding commitment from the Federal Government.
“Thanks to the funding commitment from the Federal Government announced in 2019, we will be in a position to progressively increase the number of communities we service, with the new towns including Richmond, Weipa, Cooktown, Sarina, Palm Island, Biloela, Childers, Proserpine and Ayr,” he said.
Dr Gomes said this week's advance planning tour was an essential step in bringing the Heart of Australia services to new communities.
“This trip to speak with the communities is an essential step in the process to bring services to these towns,” he said.
“We do a lot of listening and reconnaissance. We then incorporate any new knowledge gained during our trip with the lessons learned from five years of delivering specialist services to rural and regional towns to ensure the expansion is as seamless and effective as possible.
“Taking specialists to regional and remote towns over the past five years has helped save more than 350 lives, and with our expansion into new towns, this number will only continue to rise.”
Heart of Australia's specialist medical services include cardiology, gynaecology, neurology, gastroenterology, urology, endocrinology and sleep and respiratory functions.
Dr Gomes said Heart of Australia in Middlemount, Theodore, Moura and Banana, Weipa, Childers, Richmond and Biloela will come online by mid-2020.
Find out more about Heart of Australia here.
- Related stories: Innovative sessions address men’s mental health