A $5000 donation from Jimboomba Rotary will help keep the heart bus and its life-saving services on the road.
Upon learning that the famous truck would be passing through Jimboomba on August 9, president David Kenny invited the team to do a presentation on their work in order to assess if funding the operation was something the club would consider.
The mobile cardiology clinic was launched by electrical engineer turned cardiologist Rolf Gomes’ company Heart of Australia in October 2014.
Known as “the heart bus” it is an innovative mobile cardiology clinic that treats hundreds of people in regional Queensland, travelling an average of 8000 kilometres a month, delivering fortnightly specialist medical investigation and treatment clinics across 12 regional communities, including Dalby, Goondiwindi, St George, Charleville, Roma, Emerald, Barcaldine, Longreach, Hughenden, Charters Towers and Moranbah.
In its first six months of operation, nine patients were referred for open heart surgery.
Heart of Australia’s vision is to revolutionise the delivery of first-class specialty services to rural and remote communities.
According to Dr Gomes people living in the country are 44 per cent more likely to die of heart disease than people living in the city, and in some remote areas the figure can rise as high as 63 per cent.
“We have seen more than 2000 patients in the last two years, some of whom might never have seen a cardiologist,” he said.
Mr Kenny said the Jimboomba Rotary Club had committed to funding the heart bus with $5000 this year and had extended a call to other rotary clubs in the district to consider doing the same.
“Heart of Australia is breaking the grip of distance and delivering a fantastic service to people in rural and regional communities, who are far more likely to suffer death from heart disease and cancer than people living in the city,” he said.
“Their service does not take anything away from the towns, but rather fills in a gap by providing specialist cardiology services and charging bulk billing rates.”
Heart of Australia does not receive funding from the state government.
It’s attempt to partner with Queensland Health to expand its services has been rejected, despite a spokesperson for Queensland Health saying the Queensland Government recognised the good work performed by Heart of Australia in providing cardiac services to parts of rural and regional Queensland.
“Health services in Queensland are provided by the 16 Hospital and Health Services and they decide local priorities,” he said
“The government makes available an overall sum of money to provide these services, and the hospital and health services provide individual funding, as such, they are the ones who will decide any application for funding by heart of Australia.”
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