Floods are becoming an increasing concern in Australia as a result of climate change, urbanisation and population growth. There are various types of floods which may affect your practice depending on your location and patient demographics, including:
- river rise and overflows
- heavy rainfall
- king tides
- storm surges
- dam releases 4
Flooding can cause health, social and community impacts including loss of life, vector-borne diseases, injuries, mental health effects, displacement and homelessness and disruption of healthcare systems 5.
The RACGP’s Flooding and its impact fact sheet provides information on health risk factors and mitigation strategies during floods including communicable disease, physical health impacts, mental health effects and risk to infrastructure.
Following the unprecedented flooding events of 2022, the RACGP developed a two-part webinar series to assist practices affected by floods. While some information within the series is specific to the events that occurred in early 2022, much of the content is applicable to any practice impacted by flooding.
Practices affected by floods may have significant infrastructure damage, which can impact patient records management and their ability to access equipment for the provision of safe care. The RACGP Standards require accredited practices to support patients during adverse events, particularly regarding the storage of patient records and privacy principles. Further information on applying for accreditation extensions can be found here.