31
Jan 2019

Bus keeps bush hearts beating

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter has welcomed news of $12m in Federal funding for the Heart of Australia bus.

“This service saves the lives of those in the bush who would not otherwise access heart related services.

“You are twice as likely to die of heart issues if you live in the bush. The work that this organisation is doing could be described as work by the Good Lord himself,” said Mr Katter.

The $12m in Federal funding will support two mobile specialist heart bus clinics and provide a third bus clinic service to the North Queensland and the Cape, with the current 16 serviced communities increasing to 25.

Mr Katter has long advocated for supporting this service and joined founder Dr Rolf Gomes in Burpengary in August 2018 to unveil a second custom-built truck that has been designed and fitted to perform essential health procedures for those in regional and rural Queensland. Mr Katter wrote to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt in June last year after his initial meeting with Dr Gomes.

“It is a more cost effective initiative for the Government. For every $1 spent on the ‘Heart Bus’, $1.40 is saved in Government Health expenditure. It also saves the patients money because they don’t have to travel long distances to get the healthcare they need. 750-800 kilometres is the average travel saving per trip to patients as a result of this service,” Mr Katter said in his letter to Minister Hunt.

Heart of Australia is a cardiology clinic with an innovative twist - it operates off the back of a truck and travels to towns and communities to provide life-saving care. Also known as the ‘clinic on wheels ’, it’s the brainchild of Dr Rolf Gomes whose remarkable work has been featured on Australian Story.

Communities now serviced by the Heart Bus include: Dalby, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, St George, Charleville, Quilpie, Roma, Cloncurry, Emerald, Barcaldine, Blackall, Longreach, Winton, Hughenden, Charters Towers, Moranbah, Richmond, Weipa, Cooktown, Sarina, Palm island, Biloela, Childers, Proserpine and Ayr.

“We thank the Minister for this funding and we congratulate Dr Gomes and his team for their ongoing commitment to the bush,” praised Mr Katter.

—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au