Department of Health

Health services’ responsibilities in emergencies

The Department of Health has developed the Health services emergency management policy 2021 to provide practical information and advice on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

This policy replaces the Health and Human Services Sector Emergency Preparedness Policy 2019.

Importantly there are no new requirements associated with this policy.

The policy applies to services covered by the Health Services Act 1988, including metropolitan Melbourne hospitals and health services, rural hospitals and health services and Community Health Services.

Key take outs

  • Health services are required to contact the department if an emergency is impacting their services, the policy includes information on how and when to contact us.
  • In an emergency that requires an immediate response from police, fire or ambulance you should call triple zero (000) and follow emergency responder instructions.
  • It is important to remember that health services are responsible for activating their emergency management plans as soon as they become aware of a risk or actual emergency. You should not wait for notification or advice from the department or emergency services.
  • You can stay up-to-date on emergencies in your local area by visiting the VicEmergency websiteExternal Link or downloading the VicEmergency app on your appleExternal Link or androidExternal Link device, and setting up a watch-zone.

For more information contact

Reviewed 06 November 2021


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