About emergency health management

National emergencies can have a big impact on human health. Learn about public health emergencies in Australia and the various agencies involved in emergency management.

What a public health emergency is

It is important that we manage all potential human health impacts when national emergencies happen, such as:

In Australia, state and territory health authorities manage the on-the-ground response ,within their jurisdictions, in a health emergency. We coordinate the national health response. through the National Incident Centre, when an emergency has a national or international impact.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) provides advice on health protection matters to mitigate emerging health threats in a national health emergency. Learn more about this committee and its role in advising the Australian Government on health protection issues.

We can't predict exactly when health emergencies will occur, or exactly how they might unfold. So, it’s important to be prepared and have a coordinated approach to:

  • managing consistent and appropriate responses between states and territories
  • managing the extra load on our health system
  • reducing the effect on the health of Australians.

Some emergencies may lead to longer-term health or environmental impacts, in addition to the immediate threat or impact. For example, bushfires can affect respiratory health for many Australians, as well as causing significant damage to the environment.

Emergency management in Australia

Various agencies are involved in broader emergency management in Australia, including:

Our role in emergency management covers a range of activities, planning and support. Find out what we’re doing about emergency health management.

Date last updated:

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