General Practice Emergency Response Team project

WA Primary Health Alliance has committed to a project which will consider the placement of general practice in Western Australia’s State Emergency Framework.

General practice can play a vital role in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery by maintaining continuity of care at a time when communities need it most.

In 2023, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) was successful in obtaining a grant from the Disaster Ready Fund to fund the commencement of the project in 2024. This project (General Practice Emergency Response Team project or GPERT) aims to provide clarity on the capacity of WA to include GPs into the State Health Emergency Response Plan (SHERP) and provide clarity regarding what is needed to enable this.

The role of general practice is not formally defined in the SHERP leaving GP’s and practice staff without inclusion across prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery (PPRR) activities.

This highly skilled workforce has the potential to support across a multitude of activities. However, without formalisation, this workforce is not currently accessible nor are the appropriate supports in place to enable the required activities. WAPHA has identified the need to create a fit for purpose and evidence-based solution, in conjunction with key stakeholders and in close consultation with GPs and general practice peak bodies.

Quick links:

Upcoming event:

  • Webinar: General Practice Emergency Response Team (GPERT)
    March 18 2024 | 5-6PM (AWST)

Register now


This project has been launched because of known and current risks to the communities serviced by general practice:

  • The recurring natural disaster seasons (e.g. bush fire, flooding, and cyclone) which have historically impacted both country and metro general practice.
  • The impact of natural disasters and all hazards on the health and wellbeing of communities and their subsequent health care needs.
  • The need for coordinated general practice service provision in times of disaster.
  • Impact of climate change on primary care providers.
  • COVID-19 pandemic which has had a direct impact on the primary health care ecosystem, including general practice and WAPHA commissioned services providers.

Consideration will be given to the implications of the inclusion of a private medical workforce in the context of the SHERP, including economic and feasibility considerations. Thorough consultation will enable an appropriate needs assessment for all key stakeholders and result in an evidence-based solution created through co-design. The model will seek to effectively address issues experienced by GPs and strengthen their capacity to provide optimal care in the context of disaster.

February 2024

EST – Project commencement 

February - June 2024

EST – Phase 1: consultation

June 2024 - January 2025

EST – Phase 2: model governance

February 2025

Project complete

Get involved

The GPERT project is dependent on a diversity of contributions that can reflect and contextualise WA’s health care needs in disaster. Please e-mail the Disaster Preparedness Team to register your interest for updates on ongoing project work at

Get in touch


Upcoming events

Webinar: General Practice Emergency Response Team (GPERT)

March 18 2024 | 5-6PM (AWST)

WA Primary Health Alliance is pleased to host this webinar about the General Practice Emergency Response Team (GPERT), featuring guest speakers and Lisa George, Program Coordinator Disaster Preparedness and Planning.

This webinar is aimed at all primary health care workers who would like to be informed and involved in disaster and emergency management in WA. 

Find out more and register

The following topics will be covered: 

  • State emergency management arrangements as they relate to primary care providers.
  • Health response and disaster management in WA. 
  • Primary health’s role in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR) in disaster and emergency. 
  • How stakeholders can contribute towards shaping the GPERT model by completing the survey

Guest speakers: 

  • Dr Tudor Codreanu – Director Disaster  Preparedness and Management Directorate Department of Health, MD MSc (Med) MSc(Disaster Medicine) PhD (Disaster Medicine).
  • Dr Sara Renwick Lau – GP based in Mallacoota in East Gippsland, with more than 20 years of experience working with regional and rural communities.
  • James Sherriff – Kimberley Health Response Lead and Broome Hospital Executive.

For more information:

Latest News

Defining the role of GPs in disaster response

20 Jun 2023

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