The RACGP has submitted a response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, otherwise known as the ‘Bushfire Royal Commission’.
The RACGP’s response advocates for greater support and inclusion of GPs in national natural disaster arrangements across planning, mitigation, response and recovery. This includes formal general practice representation on national and state/territory based planning groups and committees and greater coordination and inclusion of GPs involved in frontline responses. In times of natural disaster and emergencies, the health impact on people and communities is significant, as was clearly evident during and after the 2019-20 Australian bushfires. GPs are essential in supporting individuals and communities before, during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and emergencies.
The below submission responses will focus on the role of GPs and the primary healthcare system in relation to the 2019-20 bushfires and in natural disaster arrangements more broadly.