NEW SERVICE: The IDEAS van is a world-class treatment and surgical trailer travelling around Queensland.
NEW SERVICE: The IDEAS van is a world-class treatment and surgical trailer travelling around Queensland. Contributed

IDEAS van brings world-class treatment to patients

THE newly-opened Carbal Medical Centre in Warwick will make way for the travelling eye treatment trailer, which is soon set to visit the Rose City.

The trailer boasts about $1 million worth of specialist equipment.

Officially launched in 2013, the van had been unable to visit Warwick.

Carbal Medical Centre CEO Brian Hewitt said the van would now be able to regularly treat patients.

"It is dependent on screenings but the van will be here about once a month," Mr Hewitt said.

IDEAS van project manager Michael Elliott said the service had already achieved some terrific outcomes.

"Aboriginal Medical Services have already photographed over 3500 patients," Mr Elliott said.

"That's over 30,000 photographs - it's the largest number of Aboriginal people ever screened in Australia, let alone Queensland."

Mr Elliott said the photographs were screened by Professor Paul Mitchell from Sydney's Westmead Hospital.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 40 years are six-times more likely to become blind, with 94% able to be prevented or treated," he said.

Mr Elliott said the van featured three treatment rooms and travels to 19 regional hubs.

"The van travels as far south as Warwick, north to Normanton, west to Mt Isa and even Palm Island," he said. "The van has an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an ophthalmic assistant.

"Up to 21 patients can be seen per day for almost everything except cataract surgery:

Mr Elliott said the van took the travel out for many patients, with diagnosis, treatment and surgery all available on the one day from the one facility.



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