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Exercise Hamel Health Care Capability

Exercise Hamel Health Care Capability
While Dr Hawkeye Pierce and his co-workers on M*A*S*H may have found that laughter and hi-jinks were the best way to deal with their situation, the medical team at Camp Rocky is very serious about its roles and responsibilities.

Potential health risks to personnel on Exercise Hamel range from the common cold and flu to snake or spider bites, food and water borne diseases or training accidents. 

Medical support for the exercise is divided into three separate roles. Role one is specialised first aid, triage, resuscitation and stabilisation. Role two includes specialist surgical and medical procedures and rehabilitation, while role three is managed at the local military or base hospital. 

The primary health care team (PHCT) at Camp Rocky is set up to provide role one support along with the provision of primary care in a deployed environment and the elements needed to support this. 

“The overarching goal of the staff at the Camp Rocky primary health care team is to ensure that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time” Captain Stuart Robertson said. 

The staff at Camp Rocky also support the field elements directly responsible for the ongoing health needs of the 9000 people involved in Exercise Hamel. 

In Camp Rocky, the PHCT is staffed by 14 doctors, nurses and an environmental health officer. The personnel are from the 3rd Health Support Battalion and come from Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne and Adelaide. All except one are Active Reserve members. 

Within the Exercise Hamel area, there are also over 150 medics, doctors and nurses providing role one support; including a team of 22 New Zealand nurses, doctors, dentists and environmental health officers. 

The PHCT is equipped with a low-dependency unit, which has the capacity to care for patients for up to 72 hours. During this time the medical staff treat and observe the patient, before having them return to their unit or, if required, onto the Rockhampton Base Hospital. 

Captain Robertson said that during their time in Camp Rocky they had been given excellent support from the local base hospital, pharmaceutical suppliers and pathology labs.

Last updated
22 September 2016
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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