Where are general practitioners when disaster strikes?

Burns, Penelope L., Aitken, Peter J., and Raphael, Beverley (2015) Where are general practitioners when disaster strikes? Medical Journal of Australia, 202 (7). pp. 356-358.

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GPs, inevitably involved in disasters, should be appropriately engaged in preparedness, response and recovery systems.

In the past two decades it is estimated that Australians have experienced 1.5 million disaster exposures to natural disasters alone.1 General practitioners are a widely dispersed, inevitably involved medical resource who have the capacity to deal with both emergency need and long-term disaster-related health concerns. Despite the high likelihood of spontaneous involvement, formal systems of disaster response do not systematically include GPs.

An Australian Government review of the national health sector response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza suggested: "General practice had a larger role than had been considered in planning". 2 It commented that "structures . . . in place to liaise with, support and provide information to GPs were not well developed"; personal protective equipment provision to GPs was "a significant issue"; and planned administration of vaccinations through mass vaccination clinics was instead administered through GP surgeries.

Item ID: 43894
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 0025-729X
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 02:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 100%
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