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Cape York health facilities prepared for Cyclone Nora

23 March 2018

Cape York health facilities are in a state of readiness for Tropical Cyclone Nora, with a number of vulnerable clients being transported today from the most southerly communities of Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw to Cairns.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Interim Chief Executive Terry Mehan said the Lean Forward phase of the health service’s Disaster Management Plan had been activated due to the potential threat.

“We have ensured that our staff are supported to maintain essential services and appropriate staffing needs have been assessed,’’ he said.

“In Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw, we have done an assessment of potentially vulnerable clients who may be adversely affected by lack of access to ongoing medical services.

“These include clients such as those who are on home oxygen supplies, people on home dialysis or those dependent on medical services.

“They are not inpatients but clients living independently in the community but who are dependent on daily or near-daily access to medical services. These are the ones we are transporting out.

“In the meantime, the primary health care centres at Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw will continue to operate as normal and will remain staffed throughout.

“At Weipa, we have bed capacity should the need arise.

“Unless the level of risk changes, the Weipa Integrated Health Service will continue to operate as normal.

“Emergency generators at all our health facilities are fully operational and have stocks of fuel for several days.

“Our facilities are also well stocked with several days’ worth of food and medical supplies.

“We have prepared our emergency communication channels using satellite phones and are encouraging staff not to undertake any unnecessary travel.

“We have encouraged residents in our communities to make sure they have enough medicines available to last them a week or so.

“We also have post-cyclone recovery plans in place to move relieving clinical staff and repair and maintenance teams quickly around the region to any affected facilities where they might be needed following the cyclone.

“All in all, all our health facilities are as prepared as they possibly can be for this cyclone.’’

Extensive disaster preparedness and recovery information, as well as disaster-related health information is available at:

Last updated: 23 March 2018