Expressions of interest are to be called for a mobile health service to deliver medical checks to coal mine workers throughout regional Queensland.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham speaking in Queensland Parliament today said that bids would be sought in November for expert providers to deliver the service.
“The mobile unit should be equipped, staffed and on the road in regional communities by late next year,” Dr Lynham said.
Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said the mobile unit would be an important service to “our thousands of current and retired mine workers where they live and work’’.
“Importantly, it will enhance the local specialist capability and make respiratory health checks available to more Queenslanders.’’
Dr Lynham said it remained crucial that any worker with concerns saw their GP and for everyone to use the free respiratory health checks now available to current and past Queensland coal mine workers.”
The State Government said this year’s Budget provided $1.21 million over two years for the mobile screening service, which would help improve the detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung), silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases.
This comes on top of nearly $25 million committed in 2017 to black lung health and safety reforms.
An equipped and staffed mobile service – was recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee into coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and will supplement existing regional specialist services.