PDH Builds Cardiac Services For The Local Community

Photo: Fiona Heenan, Director of Primary & Aged Care Services and Carolyn Millard, Health Independence Manager
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Portland District Health is growing its cardiac services for the local community with two new monitoring machines.

A new echocardiogram will allow doctors to undertake a cardiac ultrasound test that provides information about heart structure and function.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Naveen Sharma said the new machine was an important addition to PDH's cardiac services.

We have a lot of people with chest pain and heart attacks and previously local people had to travel to Warrnambool to undergo this procedure, Dr Sharma said.

Patients can also access the service in Portland for free as it will be bulk-billed at PDH.

We wanted the machine to provide services to our community at low cost and to save people a roundtrip drive of more than two hours, Dr Sharma said.

There was also a waiting list of up to three months to use a similar machine in Warrnambool.

The echocardiogram can also be used in emergency cases.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the incidence of heart disease was growing with an ageing population.

We are seeing more people who need comprehensive diagnostics around heart disease and in order to do we need to be able to do heart ultrasound, Ms Giles said.

The echocardiogram cost nearly $100,000. We've invested in the machine so people don't have to travel to have that diagnostic test, Ms Giles said.

PDH has also successfully introduced two Holter monitors for people with cardiac issues.

It is a portable monitor – the size of a mobile phone which is attached to the patient for 24 hours to monitor heart rhythm, Dr Sharma said.

It's a very good devise to pick up any abnormal beats or cardiac arrhythmia, he said.

It's all part of building cardiac services for the local community. 

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