This is Inspector-General for Emergency Management's (IGEM) first progress report on the Victorian Government’s implementation of the recommendations from the Review of response to the thunderstorm asthma event of 21-22 November 2016 (External link).
The report finds that of the review’s 16 recommendations, 11 have been completed, delivering significant improvements to Victoria’s capacity to respond to rapid-onset emergencies such as the 2016 thunderstorm asthma event.
The report states a further four recommendations are proceeding satisfactorily, while another recommendation is considered closed, with no further action planned.
Key achievements include:
- arrangements to deliver stronger preparedness and response to future health emergencies, including a new risk-based escalation process
- a new system to monitor real-time presentations in public hospital emergency departments across the state
- a new evidence-based thunderstorm-asthma forecasting system
- a clearer and more consistent process for issuing public information and warnings for health emergencies and other rapid-onset events
- a new evidence-based public health awareness and education program that targets health professionals and communities, including non-English speakers
- improved communication and coordination between the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the emergency management sector and the broader health system.
IGEM will continue to monitor the progress of the four remaining recommendations and may consider the effectiveness of the changes made to address the completed recommendations.
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