Key recommendations for the inclusion of general practitioners into evacuation centres



Emergencies and disasters have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of people and communities.1 As essential healthcare providers, GPs play a critical role in supporting individuals and communities before, during and in the aftermath of these events. The efficient utilisation of GP services in areas affected by disasters and emergencies is crucial to the health and welfare of the community.2

As outlined in the RACGP position statement The vital role of general practitioners in disasters and emergencies, general practice has not historically been well integrated into emergency planning, nor effectively utilised; however, work is increasing to improve systems of integration. This is because general practices are generally private businesses, which the Federal Government is responsible for, whereas emergency planning is largely managed by state and territory governments. Consequently, the experience of GPs and general practice teams working in disaster-impacted areas has been hampered because GPs are not consistently embedded into the wider healthcare response.3

PHNs, which are funded by and report to the Federal Government, are increasingly prioritising and playing an important role in disaster planning and response. PHNs are currently best placed to connect GPs to the broader disaster health management (DHM) response and to evacuation centres as needed.

This resource is made up of two parts:

  • Key recommendations for the inclusion of GPs into evacuation centres, which aims to support PHNs and agencies responsible for evacuation centres to effectively integrate GPs and their teams into these centres
  • Information for GPs working in evacuation centres, which is a resource for GPs on providing care in evacuation centres.

The RACGP appreciates the disaster management space is constantly evolving. We will continue to refine and update this resource and any supporting materials as required.

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