Queensland doctor seeks funding for Australia’s first cardiology ‘clinic on wheels’
A Queensland cardiologist is asking the Federal Government to support a health service that has saved at least 50 lives in rural areas.
The Australian-first cardiology “clinic on wheels” program was launched late last year and has treated more than 1,200 people so far.
The Heart of Australia program’s founder Dr Rolf Gomes said the service had also saved dozens of lives.
“Close to 50 patients with potentially life-threatening conditions have been identified and successfully treated,” he said.
“So it’s providing a very definite health benefit out in areas where these services are non-existent.”
The truck has travelled more than 60,000 kilometres in the past eight months and visited eleven towns, including Emerald, Moranbah, Dalby, Charters Towers, Charleville and Roma.
Dr Gomes has met with Federal Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash to discuss further funding for the service.
He said the clinic had shown it could work and he now wants to expand the service to other states, including Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and to include different specialist types.
“At the moment we’ve got specialists from renal medicine … respiratory physicians, vascular physicians, who have said they’d like to be involved in the program and certainly if we had more funding we can bring those services on board,” Dr Gomes said.
Senator Nash said she was considering the request from Dr Gomes.
“We always need to keep looking to see what we can do, what we can do better,” she said.
“I’m certainly interested in the whole issue of health delivery through transportable means.”
Dr Gomes said the truck had also provided a morale boost to country towns affected by drought.
“To see local services injected into communities as opposed to stripped away from communities, it certainly boosts the sentiment in those areas,” he said.