Life-saving funding urgently needed for ‘Heart Bus’ in Regional QLD

Jun 22, 2018

Life-saving funding urgently needed for ‘Heart Bus’ in Regional QLD

Friday, 22 Jun 2018

KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter has written a letter to the Minister for Rural Health and the Minister for Health asking for much-needed funding to support ‘Heart of Australia ‘ so the vital health service can continue to deliver for regional Queensland. 

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.

Mr Katter had the pleasure of meeting with Dr Gomes this week to discuss what Government assistance is urgently required. The service needs $4 million a year recurrent funding for two heart buses, specialists and equipment.

In the letter Mr Katter wrote, “This service saves the lives of those in the bush who would not otherwise access heart related services. Minister, did you know that you are twice as likely to die of heart issues if you live in the bush? Minister, the work that this organisation is doing could be described as work by the Good Lord himself. It is estimated that the service needs $4m annually. We hope that you can allocate that funding to give more Queenslanders a chance at a long and prosperous life, free from heart issues.”.

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, “Dr Gomes has a big heart and his service makes a big difference to people in regional Queensland, we urge the Government to support Heart of Australia.”.