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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 29-April-2011, Vol 124 No 1333

[full text] [PDF]

Better be prepared than sorry: what should the New Zealand healthcare system learn from the 2009 Pacific Tsunami?
Sultan Al-Shaqsi


On the early hours of the 29 September 2009, an earthquake in the Pacific generated a massive tsunami that caused significant destruction and claimed many lives across several Pacific nations. The disaster initiated an international relief operation from New Zealand (NZ), Australia, and the United States. The NZ healthcare response was adequate given the multiple challenges encountered. This article reviews the challenges faced by NZ healthcare responders to the Pacific Tsunami. Furthermore, it presents the lessons learnt from this operation in order to enhance the NZ healthcare system preparedness to respond to future disasters and mass emergencies nationally and internationally.

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