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Further medical assistance deployed to Fiji

A second Australian Medical Assistance Team has been deployed on behalf of the Australian Government by the Darwin-based National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre.

The medical team of 15 personnel supplements the six person Australian Medical Assistance Team (AusMAT) deployed to Suva in Fiji last week and brings the number of AusMAT personnel in Fiji to 21.

The second AusMAT flew out from RAAF Base Darwin to Brisbane arriving in Fiji today.

The team of 15 includes six personnel from the Northern Territory including a pharmacist, logistician from Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, two nurses and two doctors.

The remainder of the team has been deployed from around Australia and includes doctors and nurses from Victoria, South Australian, Tasmania and Queensland.

The 21-strong AusMAT medical team will provide rural and remote medical outreach to the island communities across Fiji impacted by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The AusMAT is working closely with Fiji’s Ministry of Health to provide medical help where it is most needed.

“The NCCTRC continues to lead the way with international disaster response and are experienced in deploying AusMATs to disaster zones,” Minister for Health John Elferink said.

The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre deployed AusMATs to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Pam in March last year and to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre remains focused on ensuring regional disaster preparedness with a medical delegation in Bali today to meet with Indonesian health and disaster officials.

The visit coordinated by the Australian Consulate in Bali will also include talks with senior clinicians at RSUP Sanglah Hospital. The NCCTRC has a close and ongoing relationship with RSUP Sanglah Hospital following the 2002 Bali bombings.

“Bali is a close neighbour to the Northern Territory and it’s vital we continue to maintain links and disaster planning coordination to ensure we are prepared for any incident,” Mr Elferink said.

“The NCCTRC continues to work with its Indonesian counterparts to ensure we can build on a strong relationship and deliver training on request in the region.”

The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre remains a vital element of the Australian Government’s capacity to respond to regional disasters.