Emergency health management
Health emergencies include disease outbreaks, natural disasters and mass casualty incidents. Find out what we’re doing to prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies.
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Emergency health management in Australia
In Australia, state and territory health authorities manage health emergencies.
We get involved when health emergencies have a national or international impact.
When national health emergencies happen, it’s important to have a coordinated approach to:
- consistent and appropriate responses between states and territories
- manage the extra load on our health system
- reduce the effect on Australians
We need to be prepared for a range of health emergencies including:
What we’re doing about emergency health management
We work to prevent, prepare for and respond to national health emergencies.
Our work includes:
- implementing the International Health Regulations (2005) in Australia
- developing and maintaining national health emergency response plans
- activating the National Incident Room to coordinate national responses to health emergencies
- maintaining a National Medical Stockpile of essential medicines and equipment
- administering the human health elements of the Biosecurity Act 2015
- maintaining the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) capability through the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre
- educating health professionals with advice and resources in response to emerging incidents
We also support health protection committees responsible for health emergency management, including the:
- Australian Health Protection Principal Committee
- National Health Emergency Management Subcommittee
- Communicable Diseases Network Australia
- Public Health Laboratory Network
The Department of Home Affairs leads the Australian Government’s planning and responses to disasters and emergencies. We’re responsible for the health aspects of these national plans.