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Kenworth donates second prime mover for next Heart of Australia project

Specialist medical services to remote areas of Queensland have received a boost with the Heart of Australia project expanding upon HEART1, its custom built 18-wheeler mobile clinic.

The second truck, a Kenworth K200, has been announced as HEART2, a 34-wheel B-Double, which will offer extra consultation rooms for neurology, gynaecology and endocrinology in addition to a range of broader medical services included.

It brings Heart of Australia, who said in a statement every Australian deserved access to quality healthcare regardless of where they live, one step closer to its goal of having mobile specialist clinics on regional roads across Australia.

HEART1 commenced operations in outback communities in 2014.

Speaking at the launch of HEART2, Dr Rolf Gomes told guests the demand for medical specialist services in the bush required an expansion of services, which meant a bigger fleet.

“Taking cardiologists to regional and remote towns has led us to see over 5,000 patients and helped to save more than 250 lives, but we know people’s health needs extend far beyond conditions which is why this second truck is so important,” he said.

An 8000 kilometre a month round trip according to Gomes will see geriatric medicine specialists and endocrinologists joining cardiologists across the remotest parts of Queensland.

“The goal is to be able to deliver not only the specialists but also state-of-the-art medical equipment needed to provide quality care,” he said.

“We say it’s about bringing Wickham Terrace to the bush – if you can find the equipment in my Brisbane clinic, you’ll find it on the truck.”

The addition of the Kenworth K200 is expected to allow doctors to spend more time treating patients while expanding the reach of Heart of Australia to another three towns.

It currently visits 13 towns between Stanthorpe in the south and Charters Towers in the north.

“With just one truck, we were spending about half our time treating patients and the other half commuting,” said Dr Gomes.

“Now we’ll spend 80 per cent of our time with outback Queenslanders and just 20 per cent driving, meaning the waitlist for people needing healthcare will reduce dramatically.”

(Image: HEART1 a built-for-purpose Kenworth K-200).

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