Early growth for new bush health delivery program

Posted on 2nd March 2015

Expansion has started early for Queensland’s pioneering program delivering
regularly-scheduled “at home” specialist medical clinics to some of Australia’s most
remote rural and mining communities.

It means that just five months after being launched in the state’s Southwest, the
Heart of Australia program that employs a custom-built semi-trailer clinic-onwheels,
will more than double its monthly road travel to almost 6,000klms to visit ten
(10) towns – from St. George in the south to Charters Towers in the north.

The program founder, Brisbane-based Cardiologist, Dr. Rolf Gomes, has confirmed
that from a “packed house” inaugural clinic just days ago (Feb. 26) in Emerald, the
Heart of Australia service plans to also visit the mining centre of Moranbah, along
with Charters Towers, Barcaldine and Hughenden, on a twice-a-month schedule.

“Quite simply, we could not ignore the clear need and willing support of the people
out there – the local General Practitioners, councils and businesses – so we’ve fasttracked
the spread of our service territory into the Central West,” Dr. Gomes said.

“Australians on our coastal fringe are often mind-boggled by the distances and
sense of remoteness of the true bush – where so many people just like them have
committed to living, working and raising families in remote areas.

“The first thing Heart of Australia offers is relief from having to drive perhaps for
days, leaving home and family and maybe hanging around in a city overnight, for
what could turn out to be a 20-minute medical consultation,” Dr. Gomes said.

“In the first months of our Southwest circuits, we’ve encountered many patients – too
many – who’ve been ignoring signs of serious health problems just because to get to
see a specialist has, for them, been too hard, too disruptive.

“It’s been humbling to have actually saved lives in our first months on the road by
identifying a number of referred patients who, without knowing it themselves,
presented with health issues at critical levels.”

In the Southwest clinic circuits that cover Dalby, Roma, Goondiwindi, Charleville and
St. George, Dr. Gomes has added respiratory disease specialist services – and has
plans to include other specialties “as soon as practicable”.


FURTHER INFO & MEDIA CONTACT: 0408075020. PeterMac@heartofaustralia.com

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