Australia is prone to a variety of natural disasters such as bushfires, floods, severe storms and heatwaves which can have a profound impact on the population’s health and wellbeing. Primary health plays a critical role in responding to emergencies and should consider a business continuity plan in the event of a disaster.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed the Managing emergencies in general practice guide to assist practices in preparing, responding and recovering during a disaster.
The Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) has established a HELPLINE (0484 597 191) to provide administrative support for practices that have been affected by the bushfires. This service will be operational between 8:30am and 50pm (AEDT) Monday - Friday.
Phoenix Health has developed some resources to support GPs working within bushfire affected communities. Click here to access.
Refer to ACT & Southern NSW HealthPathways
Refer to Illawarra Shoalhaven HealthPathways
The most effective support you can provide during a time of disaster is to consider extending practice opening hours to accommodate an increase in patient demand.
It is important to keep up-to-date during a disaster, as conditions can change suddenly. Some useful sites include:
For more guidance on general practice disaster preparedness, refer to the following RACGP resources:
Following a significant event such as a natural disaster it is common for people to experience a range of thoughts, feelings and emotions. The resources below have been provided for further information:
In a disaster, GPs and other health professionals can be both the victim and the responder. The Office of Emergency Management has recently released a Bushfire Recovery Assistance guide for people impacted by bushfires.
If you have been impacted by a disaster, please take care of your own health. Should you need, don't hesitate to contact the following support services:
You can also download, print and share our flyer with support options for those affected by bushfires.
You can also direct your patients to the following information, to help them be prepared in the event of natural disasters or if they have health concerns:
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