Disaster management

From within the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the Disaster Management Branch (DMB) provides strategic leadership and direction for SA Health in preparing for, responding to and recovering from major incidents, emergencies and disasters that occur in South Australia as well as nationally or internationally.

SA Health is:

  • Hazard Leader for human disease
  • Control Agency for human epidemic and food & drinking water contamination
  • Health and Medical Support Group (when not the control agency).

SA Health fulfils its responsibilities to the State arrangements through a comprehensive Prevention, Planning, Response and Recovery (PPRR) approach, including development of response and recovery plans and implementation of education, training and exercise programs.

In addition SA Health engages with the Commonwealth Government and jurisdictional partners to maintain and develop the national health emergency management arrangements and associated capabilities within SA Health. This includes:

Disaster Management in the SA Health System Policy Directive

SA Health has legislated responsibility within the South Australian Emergency Management Act 2004 and the SA Public Health Act 2011, together with the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) and the Public Health Emergency Management Plan (PHEMP) for the coordinated for the consistent application of Preventing, Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from (PPRR) disasters, public health and/or business disruption incidents in the SA Health system.

To ensure compliance with these responsibilities and consistency across the agency, the SA Health Disaster Management in the SA Health System Policy Directive (PDF 295KB) and its supporting guidance in the Emergency Management Framework (PDF 167KB), Business Continuity Management Framework (PDF 208KB) and Training and Exercising Framework (PDF 208KB) are applicable to all disaster management activities across SA Health. The key principles of which are:

  • Clear Governance
  • An all hazards approach
  • Adherence to the comprehensive approach to emergency management
  • Development of staff through education, training and exercising
  • Development of comprehensive emergency management plans and procedures
  • Monitoring and continuous improvement through post incident review and formal debriefing
  • Ensuring executive support and commitment to emergency management.

Supporting the Emergency Management Framework are:

  • The SA Health Major Incident Plan  (PDF 185KB) gives clear strategic direction to the whole of SA Health on responding to Major Incidents of any size or hazard. In addition the plan provides actions and strategies that may be adopted by Health Commanders relevant to the scale/level of the Major Incident.
  • The SA Health Multiple Burns Plan (PDF 164KB) ensures coordination of South Australia’s response to a multiple burns casualty incident, including responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to manage multiple burn casualty incidents in South Australia.
  • The SA Health Emergency Management Command Structure - Roles and Responsibilities (PDF 168KB) outlines the statutory responsibilities of SA Health as a Control Agency (during a human epidemic) and Support Agency (for all other emergencies) and the command structure that will be implemented to respond to and manage such incidents/emergencies.
  • The SA Health Healthcare Facility Shelter and Relocation Strategy (PDF 277KB) outlines the key principles to guide senior clinical and operational decision makers faced with decision planning during disaster situations, both internal and external to a healthcare facility, including: sheltering in place; planned relocation of the healthcare facility; and emergency evacuation.
  • The SA Health Major Incident Community Recovery Arrangements (PDF 130KB) ensure SA Health provides adequate support to South Australians in accordance with the State Arrangements by:

    • Outlining the governance structure for recovery
    • Identifying SA Health’s responsibilities in Recovery
    • Clarifying who is responsible for the delivery of recovery services on behalf of SA Health
    • Outlining the Primary Health Network’s (PHN) role in recovery coordination
    • Describing how SA Health arrangements connect with the broader state and national emergency response and recovery arrangements.
  • The Public Health Emergency Management Plan (PHEMP) (PDF 1MB) outlines the responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to minimise, or if they occur, manage and recover from, declared or undeclared Public Health Incidents or Public Health Emergencies within South Australia.

Further information

For further information, please contact the Disaster Management Branch:

Email: Health.DisasterManagementBranch@sa.gov.au
Telephone: (08) 7425 5932 during business hours
Address: Level 3, Citi Centre Building, Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide 5000.

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