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Priorities of primary care in disaster medicine
  1. Seth Makin1 and
  2. D Ross2
  1. 1 Academic Department of Military General Practice, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Army Health Unit, Royal Army Medical Corps, Camberley, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Seth Makin, Academic Department of Military General Practice, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham GU12 5RJ, UK; smakin{at}


The role of primary care in a disaster has too often been poorly defined and poorly understood. Due to its relative low-cost adaptability and closeness to the community, primary care can treat across multiple medical domains. By interacting with stakeholders from international data collection, state health bodies and secondary care to community groups, primary care can generate effect. Minimal standards are defined by Sphere guidelines to work within international, national and local frameworks. Evolution of the understanding of primary care in disaster medicine has resulted in a greater emphasis on maintaining outputs. In a disaster, effect is maximised by using strong local and wider resiliency frameworks to enable adaptation to new inputs and outputs while continuing continuity of care while moving through the disaster cycle. This is a paper commissioned as a part of the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations special issue of BMJ Military Health.


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  • Contributors SM completed the first drafts, while DR provided advice, expertise and edited later drafts.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.