Fuelling bush health
A CRUCIAL piece of our regions health puzzle was given a major boost on Friday, with the Federal Government pledging $1 million to the Heart of Australia truck.
Maranoa MP David Littleproud said that Dr Rolf Gomes' vision and initiative for the Heart of Australia truck deserved to be financially backed.
"This is an enormous investment in the people of rural and regional Australia, but particularly for the people of the Maranoa,” Mr Littleproud said.
"He (Dr Gomes) will go down the in the annals of our history as one of the great Australians. To go out and provide the service that he does is literally a life saving contribution to rural Australia.”
To date, the truck has travelled more than 150,000 kilometres and and made over 850 visits to regional and remote towns.
Dr Gomes said the funding is a reflection of the hard work he and his team have done over the past three years.
"I'm very grateful and no doubt it will secure this service and allow us to continue to provide a direct benefit to country Australians,” Dr Gomes said.
"It's now the dominant service provider for cardiac care for patients living in regional Queensland and we're very proud of that achievement.”
Dr Gomes hopes the Palaszczuk Government will also come on board and support the service, allowing it to blossom further.
"We've got sponsors at the table, the Federal Government has taken a seat and there is still a seat for the State Government, and we hope they join us.
"We don't want to be running around with one truck in five years time, we want the service to grow, not just in cardiac care but across a range of specialities.”
Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie was proud to make the $1 million announcement, as he has a strong association with healthcare in the bush.
"It's such an innovative solution to a really big problem, and that's access to medical practitioners... I was a doctor in rural Australia for 30 years,” Dr Gillespie said.
"Barry O'Sullivan (Senator) and David Littleproud were on my doorstep as soon as I was given the rural part of the health portfolio.
"They said come up to Dalby and see what is going, so I came up a year ago and saw the amazing work Rolf was doing.
"It was a no brainer to me, the trick was to get money out of an already expended budget... but we managed to do it.”