The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 replaced the Civil Defence Act 1983.
This has changed the emphasis in emergency planning in the health sector from ‘hospital-based emergency planning’ to ‘community-focussed’ planning by combining the health response into District Health Board and Regional Emergency Plans. This has necessitated a collaborative approach within the health sector and with other agencies.
This document aims to help providers build on their existing emergency management plans by introducing four guiding principles that reflect the latest thinking in emergency planning for the health sector. These guiding principles have been developed by referencing existing standards in New Zealand and overseas. Each guiding principle is followed by a series of suggested action points that health providers can use as part of their emergency planning processes.
The Ministry of Health, through this document, aims to get health providers thinking about what kind of emergency situations they may face and how to tailor their planning. In almost any emergency situation communities will look to their local health services for help and guidance, so it is vital that they are ready for what the future may bring.