Heart of Australia gets new Kenworth and clinic trailer

Trucking suppliers and firms support outback health initiative

Heart of Australia gets new Kenworth and clinic trailer
Dr Rolf Gomes in front of HEART 2


Remote healthcare operation Heart of Australia (HOA) has taken delivery of a new Kenworth K200 prime mover and specialised trailer in Queensland.

Due to visit 16 outback towns starting this month, the combination features extra consultation rooms for a range of specialist services, including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology.

The mobile clinic is the second truck for Heart of Australia, which began in 2014 taking heart specialists to the bush in a custom built 18-wheeler clinic.

Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes mortgaged his home to build the first truck after being confronted by the health inequality facing Australians living in remote areas.

"We live in a first-world country in Australia, and yet people are dying of preventable illnesses, not because we lack treatments or medical solutions, but because the people living outside major cities lack access to medical specialists that we in the city often take for granted," Gomes says.

"Taking cardiologists to regional and remote towns has helped save more than 250 lives but we know people’s health needs extend far beyond heart conditions which is why this second truck is so important."

The new truck will see gynaecologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, geriatric medicine specialists and endocrinologists joining cardiologists on the 8000 kilometre a month round trip across rural and remote Queensland.

Paccar Australia has been an established supporter of the initiative since its inception.

"Through Heart of Australia, we have been able to help promote better health choices across our industry, whilst also assisting regional and remote Queenslanders in accessing improved health and well-being resources," Paccar said earlier in the year.  

"By supporting Heart of Australia’s focus on providing critical specialist health care directly to these areas, we are also helping keep rural Australia vibrant and productive by supporting residents within their communities, not many kilometres away in the major cities."

Paccar provided the initial K200 and the new prime mover, dubbed HEART 2, is rated to suit the new larger trailer combination.

This that incorporates customised features such as a Holland Kompensator turntable, super single steer tyres and Beacon lights.

Long-serving Paccar dealer Brown & Hurley provides service and maintenance for both trucks.


Read our major Brown & Hurley feature story here

Also industry backers of HOA include Frasers Livestock Transport and Bridgestone, which supplies tyres for the organisation’s trucks, trailers and support vehicles.

According to HOA, attributes of the truck include:

  • the second truck was designed by Dr Gomes, who is a trained engineer as well as cardiologist. He used lessons learnt from the first truck to make improvements to the second vehicle.
  • it is a custom, 34-wheel articulated rig built to the standard 26-metre, B-double road train measurements.
  • construction of the truck began in Brisbane in August 2017.
  • the second truck has four clinic rooms: two consult rooms, one cardiac testing room and one all-purpose room.
  • The truck also has waiting area verandas, a wheelchair access lift, full kitchen, AV systems with retractable screens and projectors, a reception area, full air-condition and toilet facilities.
  • on board the truck there is more than $1 million worth of medical and IT equipment.
  • some of the new equipment on board includes: portable ultrasound machines, EMG/NCS testing equipment for the neurologist, a stress testing bike, Colposcopes, and Vital Signs Monitors.
  • the truck can be self-powered for up to seven days using diesel and solar panels.

The service delivers fortnightly specialist care to: Dalby, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, St George, Charleville, Roma, Emerald, Barcaldine, Longreach, Hughenden, Charters Towers and Moranbah.

The addition of the second truck will see the service expand to Quilpie, Blackall and Cloncurry and increase the time specialists will spend in each town.

The first Heart of Australia truck has travelled more than 150,000 kilometres covering an area of more than 450,000 square kilometres.

The new routes will see on average 2,000km per month travelled.


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