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Prime Mover Magazine

Heart of Australia to receive $12M funding boost

North Queenslanders will now be able to access a mobile cardiology service with the Liberal National Government announcing $12 million in funding to Heart of Australia.

Funding will support two mobile specialist clinics and help to provide a third service which will service Northern Queensland and the Cape, bringing the total number communities serviced by Heart of Australia across Queensland from 16 to 25.

Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said Australians living in regional, rural and remote Queensland will be able to step on board the mobile clinics and get appropriate and timely care.

“This is a great win for Dawson, and I have been advocating for greater access to specialised health services in our area,” said Christensen.

“The Heart of Australia mobile cardiology service has had a significant impact on reducing the severity and incidence of cardiovascular disease since 2014.

“Remote and very remote areas of Australia have heart disease hospitalisation and death rates 30 per cent higher than in major cities,” he said.

Funding will be provided over three years from 1 July 2019 to significantly increase the reach and scope of these vital services. The service supports investigation, diagnosis and consultation facilities, host telemedicine consultations, teleconferencing in addition to creating more jobs.

Heart of Australia services will reportedly be expanded to nine new locations including Richmond, Weipa, Cooktown, Sarina, Palm Island, Biloela, Childers, Proserpine and Ayr.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the announcement was about saving lives and protecting lives.

“The Liberal National Government recognises that Australians living in rural and remote locations often don’t have access to the health services and professional care found in our major cities,” said Hunt.

“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,” he said.

The $12 million will improve a wide range of outreach health services to communities in need in north east Queensland, including cardiology, endocrinology, sleep medicine, psychiatry, geriatric medicine, immunology, general medicine, neurology, gastroenterology and gynaecology.

Diagnostic medical equipment will also be supported including cardiac stress testing, ECG monitoring, 24 hour heart rhythm-monitoring, cardiac ultrasound, colposcopy, sleep apnoea testing and device fitting, nerve conduction studies, liver fibroscan, respiratory function, respiratory function testing, 24 hour blood pressure monitoring and telehealth services.

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