Australian Government deploys medical task force to Pakistan

Aus­tralia is deploy­ing med­ical teams to Pak­istan on Mon­day, 23 August from RAAF Base Amber­ley, to pro­vide health ser­vices to com­mu­ni­ties affect­ed by the unprece­dent­ed floods. This deploy­ment builds on the $35 mil­lion worth of assis­tance Aus­tralia has already provided. 

This joint oper­a­tion between AusAID and the Aus­tralian Defence Force will con­tribute to the Pak­istan Gov­ern­ment and inter­na­tion­al community’s efforts to help address grow­ing health con­cerns in Pak­istan includ­ing out­breaks of water borne diseases. 

The Med­ical Task Force, called the Joint Inter-Agency Med­ical Task Force (JIAMTF) will estab­lish a med­ical facil­i­ty near Kot Addu, in the vicin­i­ty of Mul­tan, in the Muzaf­far Garh Dis­trict of the Pun­jab Province. 

The med­ical teams will com­prise Defence and civil­ians, includ­ing doc­tors, nurs­es, para­medics and sup­port per­son­nel, drawn from state health agen­cies and are being coor­di­nat­ed by the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment through Emer­gency Man­age­ment Australia. 

“Aus­tralia is a good friend of Pak­istan and we stand ready to pro­vide what­ev­er assis­tance we can. The med­ical teams will pro­vide essen­tial and imme­di­ate pri­ma­ry health care to treat peo­ple in cen­tral Pak­istan and help pre­vent the spread of dis­ease,” said the Min­is­ter for For­eign Affairs and Trade, Stephen Smith. 

In-con­junc­tion with AusAID, Defence is pro­vid­ing its strate­gic air­lift air­craft, the C‑17 Globe­mas­ter, to move the con­tin­gent from Bris­bane to Mul­tan Inter­na­tion­al Airfield. 

The Min­is­ter for Defence, Sen­a­tor John Faulkn­er said the JIAMTF was pre­pared to oper­ate for an extend­ed peri­od in Pak­istan but would main­tain close links with the Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan to ensure it was pro­vid­ing sup­port for only as long as required. 

“Our peo­ple will be oper­at­ing under chal­leng­ing con­di­tions. The Task Force will apply a range of pre­ven­tive and force pro­tec­tion mea­sures so they can com­plete their mis­sion safely.” 

“Aus­tralia is cur­rent­ly focused on the imme­di­ate needs of the Pak­istani peo­ple, but we will also assist with the recov­ery and recon­struc­tion task,” Mr Smith said. 

The Min­is­ter for Defence, Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er, has sought and received the agree­ment of his Oppo­si­tion coun­ter­part Sen­a­tor John­ston on the com­mit­ment of Aus­tralian Defence Force assets to the relief efforts in Pakistan. 

Media con­tacts:>
Col­in Camp­bell (John Faulkn­er): 02 6277 7800 or 0407 787 181>
Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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