Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Resilience of Christchurch hospitals

UC researching Canterbury hospitals’ collective resilience following earthquakes

November 1, 2012

A University of Canterbury (UC) researcher is looking at all the hospitals in Canterbury to determine their collective resilience as a network during the earthquakes.

UC masters student Jason McIntosh is seeking to gauge the resilience of hospitals, hospital networks and further define ways to provide continued healthcare following earthquakes.

Jason is providing recommendations for other hospital networks in seismically active cities. He has just presented a paper at the fourth World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine Pan American Regional Conference in Leedsburg, Virginia, USA.

``I have been assessing the seismic vulnerability of Canterbury hospitals and their preparedness to respond to crises events by analysing the hospital networks response to the Canterbury earthquakes,'' McIntosh said.

``I aim to generate a method to assess the seismic vulnerability of hospital networks within New Zealand and abroad. Good anti-seismic design criteria for structural, non-structural and service components, combined with good knowledge and planning for seismic risk can help building network resilience.

``The challenge of building resilience into complex systems, like healthcare systems, is that they are comprised of many unique components with differing interconnecting relationships.

The strong interconnections between individuals and organisations in the Canterbury District Health Board and the greater New Zealand healthcare system were fostered by the social based healthcare structure and likely increased the earthquake resilience of the network significantly, he said.

Where individuals are more aware of an earthquake's effect on the entire healthcare network then they are likely to make decisions that increase the resilience of the entire network and not just the hospital they operate from.

The positive outcome of this is to streamline the outsourcing of services and capacity redistribution during the emergency response and recovery phases of a disaster, and ultimately insure continuous healthcare.

The robustness of individual hospitals to earthquake forces and land damage, the residual functionality of lifelines and transport networks, the financial organisation and staff structure, along with many other elements, all influence the resilience of the health system to earthquake.

The most disruptive damage to the Canterbury hospital network following the February 22 earthquake included minor structural damage to both clinical and support buildings and non-structural damage to ceiling tiles and light fittings, he said.

``The non-structural and utilities damage was more widespread and more disruptive than the minor structural damage within the Canterbury hospital network. The February 22, 2011 earthquake proved it would be beneficial for organisational planning in modern hospitals to focus on identifying vulnerabilities in non-structural and service systems within hospitals.

``All indications show that even with the disruption and loss in capacity the Christchurch hospital network has still provided an adequate level of healthcare following the earthquakes.

``This suggests that the Canterbury hospital network had in place or built seismic resilience into its network at an organisational level.''

It was also recognised that the September 4, 2010 earthquake helped prepare the Canterbury hospital network by way of introducing backup measures and planning for the likely outcomes of another large earthquake.

McIntosh presented a paper on the Christchurch hospitals' resilience to Canterbury earthquakes at the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering conference earlier this year. He is researching under the co-supervision of UC’s Dr Sonia Giovinazzi, Dr Tom Wilson and Dr Judy Mitrani-Reiser and Professor Thomas Kirsch at John Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA).

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news