Heart of Australia expands truck fleet

New truck to deliver lung checks to remote Queensland mine workers

Heart of Australia expands truck fleet
Dr Rolf Gomes


Mobile health service Heart of Australia will have a new prime mover on the road by the end of the year to serve regional mine and quarry workers.

The truck will be estimated to clock around 50,000 kilometres annually to conduct remote lung health checks, after a contract was awarded to design, build and operate the mobile health service.

"This mobile screening service will be taking important testing to quarry workers and miners where they live and work to support the early detection and prevention of mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis," Queensland Assistant State Development Minister and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert says.

"The 25-metre two-trailer truck is projected to clock about 50,000 kilometres annually, delivering chest X-rays and respiratory checks.

"The exact routes and schedule are being planned to work with existing services, but will likely include the coal fields across the Bowen and Surat Basins, the North West Minerals Province, and the opal and gem fields in the west and south-west of the state.

"The mobile service will complement existing health facilities already available to current and former workers across the state."

Heart of Australia received significant funding last year to deliver its services

Heart of Australia has several years’ experience providing specialist medical service clinics to rural and remote communities across Queensland via custom-designed trucks.

Its founder Dr Rolf Gomes says the new addition would be built and fitted out in Queensland, and operated by a multidisciplinary team.

"When you step on board the new mobile clinic you will find a range of sophisticated equipment similar to what you would find in a respiratory practice in the city," Mr Gomes said.

"There will be the capacity to conduct full health assessments for current and former mine workers, including chest X-ray screenings, as well as follow-up investigations like high-resolution computed tomography and complex lung function testing where required. 

"Depending on what service is needed in each region, staff required to operate the service could include doctors, nurses, radiographers, and of course a truck driver."

Health assessments for mine rescue personnel and additional health services for the mining community, including respiratory and hearing protection fit testing, will also be provided, part of the state’s mining health and safety reforms.


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