Response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in Australia lessons from a State health department perspective

T.S. Weeramanthri, A.G. Robertson, G.K. Dowse, P.V. Effler, M.G. Leclercq, J.D. Burtenshaw, S.J. Oldham, David Smith, K.J. Gatti, H.M. Gladstones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    This article reviews the lessons that can be learned by the health sector, in particular, and the public sector, more generally, from the governmental response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza A (pH1N1) in Australia during 2009. It covers the period from the emergence of the epidemic to the release of the vaccine, and describes a range of impacts on the Western Australian health system, the government sector and the community. There are three main themes considered from a State(A) government agency perspective: how decisions were influenced by prior planning; how the decision making and communication processes were intimately linked; and the interdependent roles of States and the Commonwealth Government in national programs. We conclude that: (a) communications were generally effective, but need to be improved and better coordinated between the Australian Government, States and general practice; (b) decision making was appropriately flexible, but there needs to be better alignment with expert advice, and consideration of the need for a national disease control agency in Australia; and (c) national funding arrangements need to fit with the model of state-based service delivery and to support critical workforce needs for surge capacity, as well as stockpile and infrastructure requirements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)477-486
    JournalAustralian Health Review
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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