Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Australia has a robust health system with measures in place to provide a comprehensive and effective health response in the event of a disaster or mass casualty event, including a bioterrorist act, natural disaster, bombing or communicable disease outbreak.

Page last updated: 18 June 2009

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)

The Australian Government provides a nationally coordinated approach to health disaster management through the AHPPC which was established in 2003 and previously known as the Australian Health Disaster Management Policy Committee (AHDMPC).

In June 2006, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) established the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). The roles of the AHPPC are to provide advice to AHMAC on Australia’s preparedness for health emergencies and approaches to address any deficits and to coordinate the national health response to significant incidents.

National Incident Room

The National Incident Room was established to ensure a nationally consistent and coordinated response to a national health emergency.

National Medical Stockpile

The National Medical Stockpile provides a key reserve of essential medicines and equipment to protect Australians from the effects of chemical, biological and radiological terrorism, or a major communicable disease outbreak.

Emergency Management Australia

The response to a health emergency is primarily the responsibility of the State and Territory Governments but the Australian Government assists the States and Territories by enhancing their response capabilities and providing extra resources when requested. Emergency Management Australia encourages an "all agencies", "all hazards" approach to the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from disasters and may task Australian Government agencies to deploy resources during an emergency.

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