Funding for 'Heart of Australia' to extend services

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The federal government has extended patient access to the Heart of Australia mobile cardiology clinic and testing facility.

The facility, based on a 25-metre long state-of-the-art semi-trailer, was the brainchild of Brisbane-based cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes.

For patients, the experience is virtually identical to that in a normal clinic, with a reception, waiting room, bathroom, kitchen and three consulting rooms including state-of-the-art equipment. It even extends, allowing patients to wait outside on what is effectively a covered veranda.

It currently travels to regional towns in western Queensland, including Dalby, Goondiwindi and St George.

The federal government yesterday announced $12 million in funding to extend its reach to North Queensland.

Funding will go towards extending Heart of Australia services to nine new locations, including Richmond, Weipa, Cooktown, Sarina, Palm Island, Biloela, Childers, Proserpine and Ayr.

Health minister Greg Hunt said, “The mobile specialist clinics aim to deliver around 930 clinic days a year, see up to 18,000 patients and will give 24 specialist education sessions a year.

“When the three mobile specialist clinics are operating, they will service 25 communities each month across Queensland."