Key recommendations for the inclusion of general practitioners into evacuation centres

Key recommendations

Recommendation 6

Recommendation 6: Training to prepare for work in an evacuation centre 

Training in basic disaster concepts and systems for GPs and their teams is valuable. Currently, there is no standardised training in disaster management. Providing this training to GPs and securing the funding to do so could be a suitable role for PHNs to undertake. 

Examples of appropriate disaster training could include:

  • disaster management training
    • basic disaster management terminology, concepts and systems
    • disaster triage
    • psychological first aid
    • trauma-informed care
    • likely health presentations based on the nature of the disaster
    • navigating processes in extreme circumstances (eg when there is no power, technology or telephone reception)
  • local emergency management coordination procedures and protocols
    • communication lines and processes between GPs, PHNs and other relevant parties
    • how to access localised relevant information through HealthPathways
  • evacuation centre training
    • available resources to support the management of patients
    • expected role, responsibilities and scope of practice
    • details of medical resources provided
    • details of medical resources/equipment that a GP should supply themselves (eg script pads)
    • management of medicines, including safe storage, legal requirements (including for S8 medicines) and dispensing
    • infection control policies relevant to the evacuation centre
    • documentation processes and clinical handover.

For GPs likely to play a leadership role in disaster response, supporting them to undertake Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) training, which is an internationally recognised qualification, may be useful. 

Planners should not exclude GPs from working in an evacuation centre if they have not received any formal disaster response training.

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