Department of Health Victoria

February 24th, 2023

Response Details

Deployment of Health Experts
Department of Health Victoria
Various, Victoria, Australia
October - November 2022

The October 2022 south-eastern Australia floods occurred in Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales. Some towns experienced the highest river peaks in decades. In Victoria, the Campaspe River, Maribyrnong River, Avoca River, Goulburn River, Loddon River, Murray River, and Broken River all burst their banks.

In Victoria, thousands of homes were inundated or isolated by floodwaters, leading to a ‘State of Disaster’ declaration by the Victorian Government. The floods affected essential health services workforces, directly or indirectly impacting staff who were unable to attend rostered shifts due to road closures or because they were flood evacuees from their own homes.

Respond Global, at the request of the Department of Health Victoria: Commissioning and System Improvement Department, supplied Executive Health Emergency Managers and Health Logistics Managers to support a number of flood-impacted health services Executive Teams over the period October 22nd to November 10th. The team worked directly with health services to:

  • support the implementation of emergency management plans,
  • provide support to continue critical functions,
  • provide decision-making assistance for logistics and planning,
  • support a rest rotation,
  • provide essential administrative support and,
  • provide assistance with coordination and workforce planning.

With the effects of climate change on weather patterns and the prediction of increased incidence in extraordinary weather events (flood, fire, heatwave) it is important that health systems and hospitals are supported to ensure that health executives and leadership teams are well prepared and trained to cope with an increase in the occurrence of extraordinary climate events or major incidents. Issues must be identified early and escalated appropriately, and redundancy built into plans to reduce the impact and avoid potentially catastrophic consequences.

Robyn Lindsay, CEO Echuca Regional Health, in thanking Respond Global for their assistance during this difficult time, said, “the Respond Global team integrated seamlessly into our Incident Management structure and provided expert advice and reassurance increasing our capacity to respond. The Echuca Regional Health Incident Management Team were very grateful for their incident control and logistics support and the fact that they arrived within days of our request for assistance.”

Respond Global provides comprehensive executive and incident management decision support to organisations during disasters, with the flexibility of on-site or remote collaboration. Our experienced emergency managers work closely with senior leaders to establish effective incident control frameworks, build high-performing incident management teams, and provide expert coaching and decision support to in-house incident controllers and CEOs in high-pressure situations.

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