Miners’ health truck powers ahead
A prime mover health truck will be on the road by the end of the year and clocking around 50,000km annually to deliver vital health checks for dust-related diseases to regional mine and quarry workers.
Heart of Australia has been awarded the contract to design, build and operate the service.
Heart of Australia Founder 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,” he 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."
The Queensland Government has committed $2.2 million for the mobile screening service to support the early detection and prevention of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis – also known as black lung – silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases.
It’s projected that the 25 meter two-trailer truck will be clocking around 50,000 kilometres annually to deliver chest X-rays and respiratory checks for current and former coal mine, mineral mine and quarry workers where needed.
The exact routes and schedule are being planned to complement 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
Health assessments for mine rescue personnel and additional health services for the mining community including respiratory and hearing protection fit testing, will also be provided.
Heart of Australia has several years’ experience providing specialist medical service clinics to rural and remote communities across Queensland via custom-designed trucks.
The mobile health service will run for at least six years, and was recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee into coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.
Last updated 28 April 2020