The National Health Emergency Management Standing Committee (NHEMS) is a subcommittee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). NHEMS addresses the operational aspects of disaster medicine and health emergency management in an all-hazards context. The committee uses the ’prevention, preparedness, response and recovery’ model.
The role of the NHEMS is to:
- advise and make recommendations to the AHPPC on national approaches to health preparedness for natural and man-made disasters
- undertake specific tasks as requested by AHPPC
- create an opportunity for shared learning across jurisdictions
- advise and make recommendations to AHPPC on the coordination of response to national or international emergencies
- advise the AHPPC on national activities
- strengthen the capacity and capability of health emergency management
- contribute to national Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) policy.
NHEMS also performs a coordination function under Australia’s Domestic Health Response Plan for All-Hazards Incidents of National Significance (AUSHEALTHRESPLAN).
NHEMS membership includes health emergency directors from each state and territory. They report to the Chief Health Officer (or equivalent) in their jurisdiction. NHEMS also includes representation from:
- the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
- Emergency Management Australia
- the Australian Defence Force Joint Health Command
- the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre
- the New Zealand Ministry of Health.
NHEMS may invite subject matter experts to its discussions as required.
NHEMS meets every 2 months. It also meets when:
- a national health emergency happens
- tasked by the AHPPC.
Related committees or groups
NHEMS reports to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).