Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The emergency planning and preparedness of Gold Coast is crucial for the successful management of the Commonwealth Games. In fact, the Commonwealth Games opens new prospects for the development of Gold Coast, Queensland, but, on the other hand, the Commonwealth Games increase the responsibility of the local authorities, health services and other emergency services for the effective emergency planning and management of emergencies, if they occur during the Games. In this regard, the analysis of current risks and emergency management context are essential for the elaboration of the effective emergency management plan. At the moment, Gold Coast has substantial resources that emergency services can use to tackle emergencies successfully. Health services can deliver health care services to a large number of patients effectively but the problem is the effective coordination of all stakeholders and emergency services to allow health services to deliver their services fast and effectively and to manage emergencies effectively. The emergency planning is, therefore, crucial for the effective emergency management because the emergency preparedness derives from the effective emergency planning. The effective emergency planning, in it turn, is based not on the specific set of actions but on the effective management and interaction between key stakeholders. The analysis of the current situation in Gold Coast, Queensland reveals the fact that health services have a considerable potential to contribute to the successful emergency planning and management but the local authorities need to enhance the interaction between key stakeholders to make Gold Coast to come fully prepared to the Commonwealth Games and effective emergency management.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The analysis of the risks and risk management strategies
The major risk associated with the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland is the risk of overcrowding that may cause injuries of people during the competitions or related events, such as opening or closing the Games, for example. Furthermore, there is the risk of accidents on stadiums and other facilities related to the Commonwealth Games. The transportation may also cause problems since the risk of traffic jams and accidents increases, while patients may need the urgent medical aid, for example, in case of a patient suffering stroke in a traffic jam, or in case of a car accident that may cause injuries of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The risk of heart attacks, deterioration of the condition of patients with cardio-vascular diseases, and chronic illnesses may occur during the Commonwealth Games because of the environmental conditions, such as heat, humidity and others; acclimatization of visitors, who attend the Games; and other factors (Coppola, 2007). The risk of injuries caused by fights and disputes between spectators during sport events is another issue which Gold Coast, Queensland health care system should come prepared to. Therefore, Gold Coast should come prepared to minimize those risks and manage emergencies that may be triggered by those risks. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning context
One of the main issues related to the emergency planning is the integration of health services into the emergency plan. Health care services play the key part in the safety of the public during the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, the emergency planning for health services should be closely integrated in the general emergency planning of Gold Coast, Queensland. In this regard, health services should take an active part in the planning process but, at the moment, health services rather play the part of agents rather than policy makers that means that the emergency plan is developed by the local authorities, while health services just try to comply with it and match existing requirements and standards concerning the emergency planning and management. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning process should focus on the close interaction with the local authorities, who are responsible for the emergency management and who can help to maintain the effective communication between the emergency service and the public. More important, the authorities have the legislative and executive power that means that they can introduce regulations that are required for the effective emergency planning and the successful introduction of the emergency plan, if an emergency occurs during the Commonwealth Games (Powers & Daily, 2010). The local authorities of Gold Coast are trying to develop closer ties with key stakeholders. The involvement of health services is essential for the effective emergency planning because it is only professionals working in health services that can determine the capacity of health services and their ability to deliver required medical aid, in case of emergency. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
Planning is guiding the existing system rather than imposing new one to make health care services of Gold Coast available to the public everywhere and all the time. The emergency planning should, therefore, implement key principles and suggest mechanisms of interaction between key stakeholders, like health services and other emergency services, for example. At the moment, such mechanisms remain under-developed, although the local authorities attempt to enhance the interaction between all emergency services and engage them into the emergency planning process.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning process should focus on the target population that involves the analysis of the demographics of Gold Coast, Queensland and context of the Commonwealth Games. In this regard, the planning should take into consideration the large number of visitors and tourists arriving from other parts of Australia and the world. The target population will be diverge in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, country of origin, culture, language and other aspects. Therefore, health services should come prepared to provide health care services to the diverse population in case of emergency. For example, in case of emergency, health care professionals may deliver health care services to patients, who have little or no competency in English. Hence, health care professionals will have to come prepared to overcome language, cultural and other barriers that may exist between them and patients, who have the totally different cultural background compared to that of health care professionals in Gold Coast. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
Command, control, coordination and communication are key factors that are crucial for the successful emergency planning and management (Center for Emergency and Disaster Planning). In this regard, the community capacity and its emergency resilience are very important. In case of Gold Coast, the local community has considerable capacity, including well-developed health service and other emergency services. In addition, Gold Coast has a well-developed transportation system that helps to deliver patients, in case of emergency, and their treatment. However, health services may face the problem of the shortage of facilities capable to accept a large number of tourists, in case of a large scale emergency, such as a natural disaster, for example. But, at the moment, there are no substantial threats that could have caused mass casualties or injuries of the population in Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games. Instead, the major risks are associated with technical issues, such as accidents, or health issues, such as the deterioration of health problems in patients under the impact of the local physical conditions, for example.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
Nevertheless, at the moment, the health care system of Gold Coast offers a broad range of health services, which can help patients to tackle the most acute state, which they may have. In addition, in the most urgent and serious cases, patients may be delivered to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland and third largest city in Australia with the most advanced health services available to patients. The fast and urgent delivery of patients from Gold Coast to Brisbane is possible due to the well-developed transportation system that links Gold Coast to Brisbane and other cities of Australia.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning processes required
The planning should involve the close cooperation between Gold Coast Queensland’s health services and other emergency services, including police and fire department. In this regard, the local authorities should perform the role of mediators, who help health services and other emergency services as well as other stakeholders, including community members, to get engaged into the emergency planning process. Key stakeholders can contribute to the emergency planning and together they can elaborate the effective emergency plan to manage emergencies during the Commonwealth Games. Consequently, the planning should involve all stakeholders (Antosia & Cahill, 2006). Therefore, the health service should coordinate its emergency planning with other emergency services, the local authorities, public and businesses, if necessary. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning process should help health services of Gold Coast, Queensland to build positive relationships with key stakeholders. The development of positive relationships is very important for the effective planning because positive relationships contribute to the better interaction between health services and other stakeholders in case of emergency (Pinkowski, 2008). As health services and representatives of other emergency services and other stake holders start interacting at the emergency planning stage, they develop close relationships that help them to interact effectively not only at the planning but also at the operational stage, when emergencies occur.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
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The planning process should focus on the key risks identified above, including the risk of overcrowding, accidents on stadiums, transport, fights, negative impact of the local climate and other environmental factors, and other risks. The emergency planning should tackle those issues and suggest specific recommendations for the prevention or successful management of those risks. Therefore, health services and other stakeholders should focus on the management of risks that may emerge during the Commonwealth Games. They have to develop the close interaction to manage emergencies successfully. For example, community members should know what to do and whom to call, if they witness emergency. Health services should know how to get to the emergency site fast with the support of other emergency services, if needed (Koenig & Schultz, 2010). Other emergency services should elaborate strategies and methods to maintain the situation stable, in case of emergency, to facilitate health services to help the population under the impact. In such a way, the emergency planning process should involve the close communication and coordination of actions between all stakeholders involved in the planning and the effective command and control over the emergency planning and management. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The planning process should be based on the evidence collected concerning possible health and emergency issues that occurred during the Commonwealth Games in other locations and issues that are specific for Gold Coast Queensland. In this regard, the planning process should be localized, i.e. based on local specificities that will help health service and other emergency services to deal with key risk factors that may emerge in Gold Coast Queensland during the Commonwealth because of local specificities, such as climate, for example, or the local transportation system, and other factors.
The emergency planning is a continuous process that should change respectively to the change of the local environment and risk factors. The emergency plan should focus on multiple risks that may occur and health service along with other emergency services should come prepared to deal with those risks (Ciottone, 2006). Emergency services and other stakeholders should rely on available resources only and allocate them properly to manage emergency situations properly and effectively. Health services and other emergency services should assume the response of victims to an emergency and plan that response as well as actions and policies conducted by health service and other emergency service.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
However, the key point to the successful emergency management is not the planning of specific actions of emergency services but also and mainly the planning of the emergency management and use of available resources, current practices and professionals to tackle the emergency (Hogan & Burnstein, 2007). Health services of Gold Coast focus on the development of the close interaction and coordination of their actions with other stakeholders to complete the emergency planning successfully and implement the plan successfully, in case of emergency.
Governance and other structural issues needed to ensure effective planning
The governance of emergency planning in Gold Coast, Queensland should be based on the close interaction between all stakeholders that means that the emergency planning should involve representatives of health services, other emergency services, representatives of the local authorities and community (Cuny, 1983). The governance of emergency planning should also provide effective tools of control for the emergency management. For example, the emergency planning for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland should lead to the appoint of control officers, who are representatives of emergency services, local authorities and community, to conduct the control over the preparation of the community and local emergency services for the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, control officers will control the emergency preparedness of Gold Coast, Queensland’s community and report, if they notice any problems, while the emergency management team should respond to such reports by introducing required changes to improve the performance of emergency services and enhance the emergency preparedness of the community.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
The government is responsible for the coordination of the work of emergency services. Therefore, health services of Gold Coast should interact closely with the local authorities to facilitate the interaction between health services and other emergency services and stakeholders in terms of the emergency planning (Antosia & Cahill, 2006). The government is also responsible for managing politics, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of emergency management and planning. Therefore, the government of Gold Coast can help health services to comply with the emergency plan elaborated for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast with the help of regular monitoring and control from the part of the government. However, at this point, it is possible to recommend involving other stakeholders in monitoring and control process.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
At the same time, the government of Gold Coast introduces regulations concerning the emergency planning and management. In this regard, health services of Gold Coast should comply with those regulations and requirements to be able to come prepared to the emergency respectively to the emergency plan. On the other hand, the government, in its turn should stop the practice of one-sided emergency planning but, instead, engage other stakeholders, like health services, into the emergency planning process.
Other preparations required.
One of the primary issues the emergency planning in Gold Coast may face is possible communication gaps. At the moment, the local government manages emergency planning but the problem is that all stakeholders should communicate effectively to elaborate the emergency plan that is really effective and successful. Therefore, the local government should engage other stakeholders into the emergency planning process to increase its effectiveness and to prepare the local community, health services and other emergency services to confront emergencies successfully during the Commonwealth Games. Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
Furthermore, Gold Coast community faces the problem of the lack of interaction between stakeholders to plan and manage emergencies. In this regard, the government can facilitate the enhancement of the interaction between key stakeholders through their wider engagement in the emergency planning process. For example, the government can manage regular meetings of key stakeholders, such as representatives of health services, other emergency services, local community leaders, representatives of legislative and executive power and other stakeholders. They can elaborate the effective emergency planning and develop closer relationships that will help them to coordinate their actions, in case of emergency during the Commonwealth Games.Disaster Health Planning & Preparedness Essay
Thus, at the moment, the emergency planning of Gold Coast needs the engagement of all stakeholders. The enhancement of the interaction of key stakeholders will help them to plan the emergency management and manage the emergency successfully. In such a way, they will be able to manage emergency, if they occur during the Commonwealth Games.
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