Healthier road show rolls into St George

MEDICAL HELP: The Heart Bus of Australia hits town and brings a number of specialists in a weekend road show including Laura Zimmerman and Dr Jessica Tattersall, pictured here with Mayor Richard Marsh.
MEDICAL HELP: The Heart Bus of Australia hits town and brings a number of specialists in a weekend road show including Laura Zimmerman and Dr Jessica Tattersall, pictured here with Mayor Richard Marsh. Laura Telford

COINCIDING with the fortnightly Heart Bus of Australia's visit, a number of health professionals operating in conjunction with the bus were out talking to residents over the weekend.

The heart bus travels 4000kms a fortnight, delivering much-needed specialist care to 13 towns in Queensland, and Dr Rolf Gomes, cardiologist and founder of Heart of Australia, said the healthy road show would benefit local people who could get updates on their health, manage their crops and their animals.

"The topics have been carefully chosen to make sure they are relevant to people living and working in the South West,” Dr Gomes said.

Allergist and medical rhinologist Dr Jessica Tattersall and diabetes expert Laura Zimmerman were among the speakers on Saturday, and were able to spend time one-on-one with residents talking through specific issues.

"We have a lot of allergies in Australia, so coming into regional communities my job is about raising awareness for allergic diseases so that symptoms are not ignored,” Dr Tattersall said.

Australia has the highest rates of asthma worldwide, but Dr Tattersall said there was a number of preventative measures people could take just by talking to local health professionals.

"The great thing is that people do not need to come and see people like me for the most part - talking to your local pharmacist and GP is the best way to get help,” she said.

"I have been speaking with GPs and the pharmacists in St George and they are all skilled up on how to help.”

Ms Zimmerman also spoke about the need for people to become educated about diabetes and the effects it could have on eye health.

"One person every five minutes is diagnosed with diabetes, with people in rural areas twice as likely to have it and not know it,” she said.

"Diabetes in eyes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia, which can be minimised by up to 98% if people had their eyes checked every year.”

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