Heart of Australia has today launched its newest mobile medical imaging clinic, which will provide increased accessibility to lung checks for current and former mine and quarry workers in rural and remote Queensland.
The HEART 5 is the fifth truck in the Heart of Australia fleet. It’s been built to a 26m B-double spec, and is pulled by a DAF XF 530.
PACCAR Australia has supported Heart of Australia since its inception in 2014, providing two Kenworth K200 prime movers for HEART 1 and HEART 2; and two DAF XF 530s for HEART 4 and HEART 5.
DAF Trucks Australia general manager, Felipe Rubio, was at the launch today and says he is proud to once again partner with Heart of Australia and be associated with such an important health initiative.
The DAF XF 530 used for the newest purpose-built mobile medical clinic is powered by a 530 horsepower Euro 6 PACCAR MX-13 engine.
Built in Brisbane, the custom HEART 5 B-double contains over $1 million worth of medical and IT equipment on board.
X-ray and CT scanning equipment will be used to assist in the screening and early detection of mine dust lung diseases, such as black lung and silicosis.
Inside the HEART 5 there are two consult rooms, two tech rooms, waiting area verandas, a wheelchair access lift, full kitchen, AV systems with screens and projectors, a reception area, and full air conditioning and toilet facilities.
The truck can be self-powered for up to 10 days using diesel, batteries and solar panels.
Heart of Australia founder Dr Rolf Gomes says he is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government and Resources Safety and Health Queensland, which contributed $2 million towards the build and operation of HEART 5.
The clinic will improve accessibility to respiratory health examinations for current and former mine and quarry workers as well as their broader communities across rural and remote areas of Queensland.
“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,” said Gomes.
“HEART 5 breaks down the tyranny of distance, so if you do have a lung disease, we can find it early and quickly.”
Resources Minister Scott Stewart added, “We’re proud to have HEART 5 on the road helping to uphold our high standards for health and safety in the resources sector, and our government will continue to support workers, on and off the job site. Today marks an important day as we farewell HEART 5 from Brisbane, on its official rollout to regional Queensland.”
Gomes says 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. 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,” he said.
Since 2014, Heart of Australia’s medical specialists have seen over 12,000 patients and saved more than 500 lives.
The fleet has travelled over 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 concluded.