Heart of Australia to deliver more services to regional areas with new truck

MOBILE HEALTH: Transport Assistant Minister Buchholz, Minister Mark Coulton and Dr Rolf Gomes. Photo: Supplied
MOBILE HEALTH: Transport Assistant Minister Buchholz, Minister Mark Coulton and Dr Rolf Gomes. Photo: Supplied

MOBILE medical specialists who provide an essential service to regional areas has received a boost with a new Heart of Australia truck.

The DAF XF 350 prime mover will deliver specialist medical treatment in regional, rural, and remote communities across Queensland.

Wright MP Scott Buchholz last week joined Heart of Australia founder and cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes and Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton to launch the HEART4 vehicle.

Since launching its first truck in 2014, Heart of Australia has travelled more than 500,000 kilometres, seen more than 11,000 patients, and saved more than 400 lives as it aims to close the gap between healthcare services available to people in the city and those living in the bush.

Dr Gomes mortgaged his home to build the first truck seven years ago.

"We are very excited the federal government partnership allows us to build this fourth truck and open a new route," he said.

"It means we are now servicing patients from Stanthorpe in southern Queensland to Weipa in the far north.

"We know we've helped saved lives and with HEART 4 we will be able to save even more.

"It's a step towards making sure country Australians have the same chance of a long and healthy life through better access to healthcare.".

Speaking at the launch, Mr Buchholz paid tribute to Dr Gomes and all who had made a significant contribution to Heart of Australia.

"The work of the Heart of Australia organisation, staff, sponsors and supporters has been critical to its success, survival and thriving contribution to the preventative health of those in remote Australia," he said.

"Dr Gomes is a great Australian, his vision and commitment for Heart of Australia is breaking the grip of distance that denies those in rural and remote areas access to services when and where they are needed most."

Mr Buchholz thanked the transport sector for the significant contribution being made to Heart of Australia.

"This new Prime Mover will pull a B-double configuration, that is the HEART4 specialist unit. The transport of the unit has been made possible by PACCAR Australia providing a critical contribution - the new Prime Mover.

"PACCAR this year celebrated the manufacturing of their 70,000th truck here in Australia and it is great to see they are giving back to our community in such a generous way..

"I also acknowledge the enormous support offered by Frasers Transport and Ross Fraser in particular.

"To the Fraser family, and I say family because that includes the staff - thank you for your work, for your investment of time and money in Heart of Australia, it makes a great difference to those in remote Australia and to Heart of Australia staying on the road.

"Frasers Transport have made staff available, the yards available and access to drivers. On behalf of the transport sector I say thank you, you are a great role model and making the transport sector proud."

Mr Buchholz acknowledged the staff at Heart of Australia, who do what they do every day - not in the interest of financial gain but because of their passion for people, preventative health and social responsible to regional communities.

In 2019 the federal government announced a $12 million, three-year federal government funding commitment to Heart of Australia.

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