Heart of Australia specialises in healing folk from the bush
THE hearts of Goondiwindi residents, among other towns’ residents, are a whole lot happier due to an innovative program by Heart of Australia.
Unveiled in Toowoomba in October last year, the initiative sees a first for Australia – a mobile cardiac and respiratory specialist service for rural and remote communities in Queensland.
It delivers regular “at home” medical treatment to patients who may not have access to health care usually found in major cities.
Originally servicing Roma, Dalby, Charleville, St George and Goondiwindi, the state-of-the-art, $1.5 million, custom-designed trailer with specialists, has now extended its services to 10 regional towns, increasing its monthly road travel to more than 6000 kilometres.
The healthcare program was in the spotlight at Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise’s recent Enterprise Evening in Roma, helping raise awareness of the Heart of Australia program throughout the regional
communities in which it operates.
Program founder, Brisbane-based cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes, said the expansion of the program, from five to 10 towns in five months, was the result of an increased need within regional communities to have access to specialists.
“Quite simply, we could not ignore the clear need and willing support of the people out there – the local general practitioners, council and businesses – we’ve fast-tracked 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 appointment.”
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