Australian health authorities to test pandemic responses
Australia’s health and emergency services will participate in the largest health simulation exercise ever held in this country to test preparedness for a pandemic influenza outbreak. To be called Exercise Cumpston 06, the test will be held over four days from 16-19 October 2006.
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30 May 2006
Australia’s health and emergency services will participate in the largest health simulation exercise ever held in this country to test preparedness for a pandemic influenza outbreak.
To be called Exercise Cumpston 06, the test will be held over four days from 16-19 October 2006 and will focus on the health responses set out in the revised Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI).
The Government has allocated $4.1 million for the exercise. All states and territories will participate and may also test aspects of their own plans.
The main operational phase of the exercise will be based at Brisbane airport in a scenario that will simulate an international arrival of a person infected with pandemic influenza. Responses to be tested include border control and quarantine. It will also simulate containment and transition to the maintenance phase in a community setting, including the deployment of anti-virals and the establishment of fever clinics.
As well as exercising operational agencies, Cumpston 06 will test governance arrangements and decision-making within and between jurisdictions at all levels.
Exercise Cumpston 06 follows on from Exercise Eleusis held last year which tested responses to animal health incidents, but provided only limited scope to assess preparedness for a pandemic involving human to human transmission.
Exercise Cumpston 06 will provide a comprehensive assessment of Australia’s preparedness with minimal disruption to the health system and other vital infrastructure.
(The Exercise is named after Dr John Cumpston, the first Director General of the Commonwealth Department of Health when it was created in 1921, a position he retained until 1945. An epidemiologist, Dr Cumpston became Commonwealth Director of Quarantine in 1913. During the devastating Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-19, Dr Cumpston showed that quarantine measures could help in containing or delaying the spread of the outbreak.)
For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220
Kay McNiece, Media Adviser to Professor John Horvath, 0412 132 585
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