The ongoing work of the Northern Territory’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) has been highlighted in the Asian Century white paper released yesterday.
The white paper sets out a number of targets for Australia, with particular focus on the Northern Territory, over the next 13 years to 2025 to ensure Australia can compete effectively within Asia.
Dr Ken Henry, one of the paper’s key authors, visited the Northern Territory earlier this year and toured the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre as part of the visit.
The NCCTRC is located at Royal Darwin Hospital and was established by the Commonwealth Government following the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.
Dr Henry wrote in the paper: “We will continue to deploy whole-of-government teams of civilian and military personnel, as we did after the 2008 major earthquake in Sumatra and during the 2010 Pakistan flood disaster.
“The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre— established in Darwin after the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005—is an important hub for our emergency medical responses in the region. It also delivers training to clinicians in the region. Given Darwin’s proximity to Southeast Asia, its large military population and its capacity for growth in the decades ahead, the centre is well placed to become a regional centre of medical excellence in the region.”
Dr Len Notaras, NCCTRC Executive Director, said the Centre was focused on training and education and ensuring the Northern Territory has the capacity to respond to incidents.
“As part of our day-to-day operations the Centre is engaging with Indonesia and Timor-Leste as well as ensuring the NT is prepared for anything.”
Since 2005 the NCCTRC-Royal Darwin Hospital has responded to a number of incidents including the retrieval of former Timor-Leste president Dr Jose Ramos-Horta following the assassination attempt in 2008 and the Siev 36 boat explosion of Ashmore Reef in 2009.
The NCCTRC also led the joint Australian civilian and military deployment to Pakistan in 2010 following the devastating floods in that country.