Mobile health unit to support regional miners, medical providers

Monday, 21 February, 2022

Mobile health unit to support regional miners, medical providers

A new mobile health unit in Central Queensland will help with the early detection of mine dust lung diseases.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the HEART 5 mobile health unit was important in protecting the region’s resources workforce. Current and former mine and quarry workers will have access to the unit, he said.

“The unit has already completed its first tour since its construction was completed in Brisbane, working with local medical providers to deliver respiratory health screening services to nearly 200 workers in the Bowen Basin.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the resources industry was an important part of the city’s economy.

“HEART 5 is a revolutionary piece of technology that will bring high-quality respiratory health screenings directly to mine and quarry workers in regional and remote parts of the state, including here in Central Queensland.

“I was part of the Parliamentary Committee which looked into mine dust lung disease so it’s something very close to my heart and it’s great to see HEART 5 start its vital work for our resources workers.”

The delivery of the vehicle is part of the government’s response to the recommendations made by the Black Lung, White Lies report.

Through the unit, regional mine and quarry workers and medical professionals can access a range of health services through a mobile medical imaging clinic that delivers lung checks to current and past workers.

Minister Stewart said HEART 5’s design includes facilities which support medical providers and industry to deliver a range of important health monitoring provisions.

“For the first time we have been able to include a high-resolution CT scanner as well as other highly sensitive equipment onboard a mobile unit,” he said.

“HEART 5 is a 56-tonne, 34-wheel road train built to withstand harsh Queensland conditions in long treks through remote areas to get these services that will help in the early detection of mine dust lung diseases to the workers and former workers who need them.

“We have lowered allowable levels of dust exposure, introduced prescribed requirements for monitoring and reporting, and enhanced health surveillance across the mining sector, and Queensland now has the toughest mine safety laws in the world.”

Image credit: Heart of Australia

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