The Role of General Practitioners in Disaster Health Management [article]

Penelope Burns, University, The Australian National
Disasters are a time of excess demand for medical care overwhelming available medical services. General Practitioners (GPs) are local healthcare professionals already onsite managing the ongoing health of the majority of the community when disaster strikes. They are a medical resource, knowledgeable about the local community context, and remain to share the journey of adaptation and recovery with their local community in the days to years of aftermath. Early observations at commencement of this
more » ... research demonstrated that whether GPs chose to or not, as local community health professionals they will be involved in some way in any disaster that strikes their community either during, and/or after the event. In most countries, including Australia, GPs are excluded from disaster response systems. The research aim was to identify the role of GPs in disaster health management, and to propose a system of involvement that aligns with: - the epidemiological evidence of disaster healthcare needs relevant to GPs, - the perceptions of GPs and Disaster Managers (DM) experts, and - the current All Hazards All Agencies Prevention-Preparedness-Response-Recovery (PPRR) international framework of disaster management The first study was a systematic literature review utilising PRISMA guidelines to categorise the epidemiology of physical health consequences of disasters relevant to GPs. Following this the thesis reports a series of three qualitative studies employing a constructivist grounded theory approach: two using semi-structured interviews, and one using a focus group, with disaster-experienced GPs and DMs. These studies explored barriers and facilitators to inclusion of GPs and investigated current and future roles. Research findings led to a conceptual representation for future integration of GPs, utilising the PPRR framework. Ultimately the thesis proposes a strategy for integration of GPs into existing disaster health management systems that addresses some of the barriers highlighted by the research, and elucidates the role [...]
doi:10.25911/3bte-tf05 fatcat:xbxyudpyp5h6ng25pke7d3znvu