Mobile clinic brings lung checks to regional miners
A NEW mobile health service will support the respiratory health of mine workers by bringing state-of-the-art facilities to regional communities.
The B-double mobile clinic will provide health assessments to current and former mine and quarry workers to assist with the early detection of mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis.
Heart of Australia is expected to have the truck on the road by the end of the year, offering X-ray and CT services to rural and remote communities.
Heart of Australia founder Dr Rolf Gomes said the mobile clinic would take the state-of-the-art equipment to communities where it was needed.
“Ultimately in medicine you can only treat the problems you can find, and access to medical imaging plays a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients,” he said.
“Providing rural patients access to locally delivered medical imaging services will make an enormous difference and save lives.”
Dr Gomes said the truck 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,” he 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.”
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.
Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert said the service would travel across the state, servicing communities in the Bowen Basin along the way.
“The 25m two-trailer truck is projected to clock about 50,000km annually, delivering chest X-rays and respiratory checks,” she said.
“The mobile service will complement existing health facilities already available to current and former workers across the state.”
The new truck, funded by the Queensland Government, will join the current fleet of custom-designed trucks operated by Heart of Australia.