Australian medical team to assist in the Philippines

Australia will be deploying a 36 member medical team to the Philippines to give medical support following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

Page last updated: 12 November 2013

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12 November 2013

Australia will be deploying a 36 member medical team to the Philippines to give medical support following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, and the federal Member for Solomon, Natasha Griggs, announced today.

"Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, chaired an emergency meeting of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) yesterday at which all state and territory health authorities agreed that 36 health professionals from Darwin, Queensland, South Australia and NSW will deploy to the Philippines as soon as possible," Mr Dutton said.

“The deployment will be coordinated by the Commonwealth-funded National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) based in Darwin and the team will take medical equipment and supplies with the capacity to treat up to 4000 patients over a two week period in a temporary 60 bed hospital.”

Northern Territory Federal Member for Solomon, Natasha Griggs, said she was proud that the Commonwealth Government has activated the Territory-based National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre to respond to the unfolding human tragedy in the Philippines.

“Former Prime Minister John Howard established the NCCTRC in response to the Bali bombings to deal with crises such as that which occurred in the Philippines.

“The Philippines community is a vibrant, vital part of the Territory’s broad-based cultural mix and my thoughts go out to all those who have family and friends affected by the weekend’s unimaginable tragedy,” Mrs Griggs said.

The team will be made up of:

  • 8 doctors, including 2 surgeons and 2 anaesthetists
  • 15 nurses
  • 4 paramedics
  • 1 environmental health officer,
  • 1 pharmacist
  • 1 radiographer
  • 6 logisticians from the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service.
Of this group of 36, Queensland is providing 2 doctors, 1 nurse, SA providing 2 doctors and NSW 1 doctor.

Equipment includes 50 bed deployable hospital, x-ray facility, two operating theatres, medical supplies to treat up to 4000 people and perform 200 operations, 5 triage outpatient tents, and food and water purification equipment to ensure the team is self-sufficient for 14 days.

“All team members have undergone specific AUSMAT training to prepare them for the challenges they will now face," Mr Dutton said.

"This is not the first time Australia has come to the aid of countries overseas in disaster situations and Professor Baggoley's Australian Health Protection Principal Committee will keep a close eye on the situation and states and territories have indicated that they will be preparing to provide a further team beyond this first deployment if one is needed."

Media contacts:
Minister Dutton’s Office, 02 6277 7220
Mrs Griggs Office, 02 6277 2392

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