Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    WA nurse to learn from 9/11 experiences

    14/03/2008 12:00 AM

    Western Australian nurse Rob Stewart will receive first-hand knowledge of the paediatric emergencies and pressures faced by American medical staff after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when he meets with colleagues in New York later this year.


    Mr Stewart has been awarded this year’s $15,000 Bali Nursing Fellowship, which will allow him to visit emergency hospitals in four countries to research how international paediatric emergency services cope with major disasters and epidemics.


    Health Minister Jim McGinty said Mr Stewart was a worthy recipient and his research would help WA children and their families receive the best medical treatment during a crisis.


    “This fellowship will provide Mr Stewart with the opportunity to gain new expertise and knowledge that he will bring back to the WA health system,” Mr McGinty said.


    “He will use the fellowship to tour facilities in several overseas cities where paediatric health services have demonstrated their ability to manage increased demand during emergency situations.


    “A panel of nursing experts selected Mr Stewart because of his nursing background and interest in disaster preparedness and emergency management.”


    Later this year, Mr Stewart will visit hospitals and health services in London, Madrid, Tel Aviv and New York, which have all developed innovative concepts in coping with the extra demand placed on their emergency services following terrorist events.


    Mr Stewart said his research would ensure that WA’s disaster planning and management met international standards.


    “After the September 11 attacks, New York’s paediatric hospitals had to deal with a large number of children with both physical and emotional health issues, and Madrid has demonstrated significant capacity to allocate casualties to appropriate hospitals during peak crisis periods,” he said.


    “London and Tel Aviv have experienced sustained periods of terrorist activities in their cities and, as a result, have extensive planning and operational experience in disaster medicine.”


    Mr Stewart is currently employed as a senior policy officer in the Department of Health’s Disaster Preparedness and Management Unit.  He has previously worked for Royal Perth Hospital and overseas health services in London and Saudi Arabia.


    The Minister said the State Government had established the Bali Nursing Fellowship after the 2002 Bali bombings to recognise and honour the invaluable contribution that nurses made to WA health services, especially in the event of a major disaster.


    “Our doctors, nurses and other health professionals work extremely hard to cope with the daily demands placed on emergency departments and it is essential that they are supported when large-scale emergency situations, such as the 2002 Bali bombings, occur,” he said.


    Minister's Office - 9422 3000