Earthmoving News, Workplace Health & Safety

Heart of Australia provides on-site lung checks to miners

Queensland-based mobile medical program Heart of Australia has launched a mobile medical imaging clinic aimed at current and former mine and quarry workers in the state’s regions.

The new Heart 5 truck on site

Developed in partnership with the Queensland government, the first-of-a- kind “Heart 5” clinic will provide increased accessibility to lung checks for people who may not otherwise get them.

The mobile medical imaging clinic is the fifth truck in the Heart of Australia fleet and includes X-ray and CT scanner equipment to assist in the screening and early detection of mine dust lung diseases, such as black lung and silicosis.

“The battery technology we have designed and built in Queensland to power the CT scanner means, with Heart 5, we can do a CT parked on a mine site, and that is a world first,” Heart of Australia founder Dr Rolf Gomes says.

“Through the collaboration of the project partners, the Queensland government, Philips and I-MED, this technology and innovation has been made possible.

“Heart 5 breaks down the tyranny of distance, so if you do have a lung disease, we can find it early and quickly.”

He says that providing rural patients with access to locally-delivered medical imaging services will make an enormous difference in improving lives and supporting the work of local GPs.

“Heart of Australia is pioneering the delivery of radiology services in regional Queensland,” he explains.

“For retired miners as well as those living in rural and remote communities, this means easier access to testing and screening, which will improve patient health outcomes.”

Since 2014, Heart of Australia’s medical specialists have seen more than 12,000 patients and saved more than 500 lives. The fleet has travelled more than 500,000 kilometres servicing towns from Stanthorpe in the south to Weipa in the far north and Winton in the west.

“With the launch of Heart 5, our CT truck, we will be finding more, treating more, and saving more lives,” Gomes says.

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