Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert (Photo: Facebook)

April 28, 2020

A prime mover health truck will be on the road by the end of the year to bring lung health checks to past and present mine and quarry workers throughout Queensland.

Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert announced that Heart of Australia had been awarded the contract to design, build and operate the mobile health service.

“This mobile screening service will be taking important testing to quarry workers and miners where they live and work to support the early detection and prevention of mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“The 25m two-trailer truck is projected to clock about 50,000km annually, delivering chest X-rays and respiratory checks.

“The exact routes and schedule are being planned to work with existing services, but will likely include the coal fields across the Bowen and Surat Basins, the North West Minerals Province, and the opal and gem fields in the west and south-west of the State.

”The mobile service will complement existing health facilities already available to current and former workers.”

Founder of Heart of Australia, Dr Rolf Gomes, said the truck would be built and fitted out in Queensland, and operated by a multidisciplinary team.

“When you step on board the new mobile clinic you will find a range of sophisticated equipment similar to what you would find in a respiratory practice in the city,” Mr Gomes said.

“There will be the capacity to conduct full health assessments for current and former mine workers, including chest X-ray screenings, as well as follow-up investigations like high-resolution computed tomography and complex lung function testing where required.

“Depending on what service is needed in each region, staff required to operate the service could include doctors, nurses, radiographers, and of course a truck driver.”

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