Questions and answers on the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (NZMAT).
The Ministry of Health is commencing a series of initiatives to enable the deployment of a medical assistance team to support local health services overwhelmed by a major emergency within New Zealand and Polynesia. This initiative will be advanced within existing health resources at this point in time.
What is NZMAT?
NZMAT will consist of specific modules of health services and skills adapted to meet the requirements of health in the affected area: modules could include teams for assessment, pre-hospital, public health, triage, trauma, primary health and obstetrics, clinical, psychosocial support, logistics, and management services.
What will NZMAT do?
NZMAT will provide appropriate health assistance in regions affected by major emergencies in support of the local health authorities requesting assistance. Planning at this stage is for NZMAT to deploy in non-austere conditions where there are existing or temporary medical facilities and accommodation available for team members.
Who should consider volunteering?
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, medical technicians, logistical/support personnel and administrators interested in participating in responses to major emergencies. Volunteer information will be stored in a database and personnel will be contacted as/when their appropriate skills are required. Liaison has commenced with colleges and organisations on how best to gather and maintain such a data base.
What would be my commitment be if I volunteered?
Provide details of your skill set and other abilities such as languages spoken, physical fitness, preparedness to respond as/when required and referees who can attest to your suitability. Those likely to be in key positions such as team leaders or section managers will be expected to take part in emergency management training and team training that is in the process of being developed.
Who organises or coordinates NZMAT?
The Ministry of Health will organise NZMAT assisted by Counties Manukau DHB and various colleges and professional bodies. On deployment a team leader will be appointed plus managers and leaders for any particular deployed group such as primary health, or surgical. The NZMAT will liaise with and operate under the auspices of the health authority in any overseas deployment and the local District Health Board if deployed within New Zealand.
How can I get more information?
Visit the rest of the NZMAT section. This section contains more information and linkages to the NZMAT Operational Manual and also to the NZMAT registration form if you are interested in volunteering.
The information on this page can also be downloaded as a Word document or PDF: