Meeting a real heart-starter

BUNDABERG residents have the chance to be part of a seminar that is a real heart-starter, with a top English cardiologist flying into town especially for today’s event.

Bundaberg Hospital’s HeartSTART program manager Dr Harley Stanton invited Dr Hugh Bethell to the city, after he got in touch with the English specialist for a copy of a journal article he wrote.

“It’s not often we get an opportunity like this,” Dr Stanton said.

“We have an expanding potential for cardiology services in Bundaberg.”

Dr Stanton said it would be an exciting seminar.

He said the English specialist was an expert in cardiac rehabilitation and would be talking about his experiences in the provision of services.

“Bundaberg is very privileged to have someone with Dr Bethell’s experience come and share this knowledge. Health professionals and members of the public will really benefit from his visit,” he said.

The London specialist established the first community-based cardiac rehabilitation program in the UK in 1976.

Then, in the early 1990s, Dr Bethell found the facilities he was using were too limited and, with the support of local people, raised funds to develop a purpose-built cardiac rehabilitation facility in the Alton Sports Centre, which opened in 1997.

The centre is recognised as a “centre of excellence” in the UK and sees about 500 new patients each year who are recovering from heart attacks, coronary bypass or angioplasty.

Dr Bethell has chaired the UK Coronary Prevention Group for the past 20 years and launched the British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation in 1993, becoming its first president.

Dr Bethell is also a keen runner.

Bundaberg is the only location where Dr Bethell is sharing his wealth of experience in cardiac rehabilitation.

The seminar is open to the public and will be held at the Central Queensland University Bundaberg campus from 10am, with a video link to other sites around the region.

A clinical meeting has also been organised especially for the Bundaberg Hospital staff, at the hospital, at midday today.

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