Charleville Hospital will begin offering locally-delivered cardiac stress testing from November, saving residents long journeys to the city for their procedure.
South West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Linda Patat says the local stress tests would be delivered at Charleville under a program supported by the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Brisbane.
“With cardiac stress testing already available at Roma, once Charleville is on line, we will have two sites in the South West where clients can have these tests done without having to travel further afield.’’
Charleville Hospital doctor Katie Chang and Nurse Practitioner Nicky McKellar had completed training to be able to undertake the cardiac stress tests locally.
“Having access to services locally is essential to keep our community healthy and know they are receiving the best care.’’
“And it’s great to have the help and support in this of the fantastic team at PAH.’’
Charleville Hospital Nurse Practitioner Nicky McKellar says she’s pleased to be involved in delivering the new service.
“By offering this service, we’re going to see more people in the community tested more often, and that’s going to save lives.”
“It’s a nine-hour drive or two-hour flight to get to Brisbane, and for a lot of people that’s just too far for regular testing. Healthcare at home by people you know is better.”
“They’ll be able to get their tests done locally at Charleville and, if any abnormalities are identified, they can then be referred to a specialist for further care.’’
Charleville is one of several trial sites where PAH is helping regional hospitals tackle Australia’s most common form of heart disease by arming them with the equipment and training to diagnose and track it.
PAH Cardiac Physiologist Glen Andrews says the aim is to bridge the healthcare gap that exists between regional, remote and indigenous communities by training rural staff and providing them with the necessary equipment.
“Coronary artery disease is where fatty deposits reduce the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The most common way we diagnose and track it is with exercise stress testing, but you need a treadmill, electrocardiograph, blood pressure monitors and trained staff to do it.”