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The Civil and Military Medical Response to Natural Disasters
  1. Surgeon Lieutenant Henry Dowlen, Medical Officer1,
  2. E Nicol2 and
  3. A Mozumder, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Medical Programmes3
  1. 145 Commando Royal Marines
  2. 2Immediate past Chairman of the Haywood Club Tri-Service Medical Society. Specialist Registrar in Cardiology and General (Internal) Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP
  3. 3HQ Air Command Royal Air Force. Honorary Lecturer Conflict & Health Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  1. RM Condor, Arbroath, ANGUS 07815 793637 henry.dowlen{at}


This article explores the topic of military involvement in disaster response. This was debated during a conference held at the Royal Society of Medicine, through presentations on experiences and procedures within both the military and civilian roles. The conference was run jointly by the Haywood Club Tri-Service Medical Society and the Catastrophes & Conflict Forum of the Royal Society of Medicine on 20th April 2007.

Issues of collaboration and accountability are seen as key themes of disaster response, within which the military can have a role, but which needs to be carefully administered in order to avoid an inappropriate response with an associated political fallout.

This article does not represent the official stance of government or any of the agencies therein.

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