Health checks wake-up calls for truckies

Trans-Help chief Dianne Carroll said Gosnells driver John Dunbabin was referred for several health issues.
Trans-Help chief Dianne Carroll said Gosnells driver John Dunbabin was referred for several health issues.

The van set up for the first time this week at the BP Kewdale Truckstop in Abernethy Road and National Transport Support Services chief Dianne Carroll said nurses and trained volunteers saw about 40 drivers in the first two days of the free four-day service.

‘If we can save one life, like we did at the Perth Truck Show last week, with one driver being taken to ED with very high blood pressure, it’s all worth it,’ Mrs Carroll said.

It is the first time the health unit has visited WA and it will stop at various metropolitan sites for the next three months on a trial basis, with permanency a possibility. It will be at the Kewdale truck stop about once a week.

Of the drivers seen early last week all but two were men with a variety of health problems including a protruding thyroid, two with possible diabetes type 2, two with severe road trauma as a result of previous accidents and others with possible sleep apnoea.

‘Our message is one of prevention. We find many truckies won’t go to a doctor because they are worried that mandatory reporting will affect their commercial licence, which is their livelihood. In the five years our vans (which operate in the eastern states) have been operating, we’ve only had to report two people ” that’s not what we’re here for. We are here to educate the drivers about making better lifestyle choices.

‘If a driver walks four laps around their 26m long truck four times a day they are walking an extra 55km a year.’

– Find out where the van will be at www.transhelpfoundation.com.au