Heart of Australia adds DAF to the fleet

New DAF XF 530 becomes mobile health service’s ‘HEART4’ unit

Heart of Australia adds DAF to the fleet
L-R: Scott Buchholz, Mark Coulton, Rolf Gomes

Regional, rural and remote Queensland mobile cardiology service Heart of Australia (HOA) is expanding its fleet with a new prime mover.

HOA is the brainchild of Brisbane-based cardiologist and engineer Dr Rolf Gomes, who was joined by Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz and regional health minister Mark Coulton to launch the new unit, a new DAF XF 530, to deliver specialist medical treatment in the state.

In 2019, HOA gained a $12 million, three-year federal government funding commitment to Heart of Australia.

Buchholz pays tribute to Gomes, his sponsors, staff, supporters, and those across the transport industry that had made a significant contribution to Heart of Australia

"The work of the Heart of Australia organisation, staff, sponsors and supporters has been critical to its success, survival and thriving contribution to the preventative health of those in remote Australia.

"Dr Gomes is a great Australian, his vision and commitment for Heart of Australia is breaking the grip of distance that denies those in rural and remote areas access to services when and where they are needed most," Buchholz says.

More on Heart of Australia's relationship with DAF, here

HOA delivers services in regional Queensland, including Dalby, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, St George, Charleville, Roma, Emerald, Barcaldine, Longreach, Hughenden, Charters Towers, Moranbah, Cloncurry, Blackall and Quilpie.

Six new towns to be serviced by the newly funded HEART4 mobile clinic are Sarina, Proserpine, Ayr and Cooktown with Palm Island and Weipa via static clinics.

HOA has seen more than 9,000 patients since it started in October 2014, with its customised road trains – specialist medical clinic-on-wheels – travelling more than 150,000km on the road covering more than 450,000 square kilometres.

It has delivered more than 35,000 episodes of care and had saved around 400 lives until early 2020.

Its cardiology diagnostic equipment includes: Cardiac stress testing – treadmills, ultrasound, ECG monitoring, 24-hour heart monitoring, Cardiac ultrasound, sleep apnoea testing and fitting of devices, respiratory function testing and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring.

Buchholz acknowledges the staff at Heart of Australia, who do what they do every day – not in the interest of financial gain but because of their passion for people, preventative health and social responsible to regional communities.

Buchholz also thanks the transport sector for the significant contribution being made to HOA, including Frasers Transport, which has made staff available and yards available and access to drivers.

"This new prime mover will pull a B-double configuration that is the HEART4 specialist unit.

"The transport of the unit has been made possible by Paccar Australia providing a critical contribution – the new prime mover.

"Paccar this year celebrated the manufacturing of their 70,000th truck here in Australia and it is great to see they are giving back to our community in such a generous way."

"I also acknowledge the enormous support offered by Frasers Transport and Ross Fraser in particular.

"To the Fraser family, and I say family because that includes the staff – thank you for your work, for your investment of time and money in Heart of Australia, it makes a great difference to those in remote Australia and to Heart of Australia staying on the road."

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