Australia’s health security capability was assessed by an intensive, year-long evaluation throughout 2017, known as a Joint External Evaluation (JEE). The JEE examines core capacities under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) using a multisectoral approach.
The self-evaluation stage was led by the Department of Health and occurred from January to October 2017 and included consultation with over 25 Australian Government agencies, expert committees and organisations, and all eight state and territory governments. This was followed by an independent assessment by a WHO-led team of international experts in late November 2017.
While Australia was assessed as having made outstanding progress against the IHR, the WHO noted that we must work to maintain our high standards of health security, and continue to build the capacities of other countries to respond to public health threats through initiatives like the Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region.
Australia’s JEE Mission Report, published by the WHO, contains 66 recommendations to further strengthen Australia’s IHR compliance and improve health security. Australia used the recommendations from the JEE to produce Australia’s National Action Plan for Health Security 2019-2023 (NAPHS).
The NAPHS represents a commitment to continue to work together across a multitude of sectors to further strengthen our abilities to prevent, prepare for, detect and respond to public health threats and emergencies.