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Public Health Protection of the population

In accordance with the German Constitution, health protection is an asset the protection of which enjoys high priority; everyone has the right to life and physical integrity. Considerable significance therefore attaches to public health protection.

The areas to be tackled take account of the fact that the medical response to large-scale, nationally-significant hazards and incidents must encompass the entire rescue chain, starting with self-protection and first aid, via preclinical treatment, patient transportation, through to outpatient and hospital treatment.
Dealing with this kind of incident is contingent on cooperation between the Laender. So that this can work smoothly in case of an incident, the medical emergency response structures and procedures must be harmonized as far as possible, and must be compatible to at least some degree.
Harmonisation and creation of compatibility relates both to the purely medical component and to the other partners of non-police and police emergency response operating in the actual event which may exert an influence on medical civil protection. Dealing with this at national and – if possible – international level is one of the Centre’s key tasks.

It is, however, also a matter of providing resources for public health protection to the Länder. This involves both providing expertise and special resources, and bringing in reinforcements by providing task forces, and supporting clinical treatment by providing resources which are in short supply (e.g. pharmaceuticals, vaccines and antidotes). Drawing up and implementing appropriate concepts is a further focus of the Centre’s tasks.

All these tasks can be dealt with only in close cooperation with the partners in the healthcare system and in non-medical emergency response. This includes at national level on the medical side for instance the health authorities of the Federation, the Länder and the local authorities, the Federal Armed Forces, the medical associations and the relief organisations, and last but not least also non-hospital doctors, as well as relevant sections of industry.
This list is added to on the non-medical side by many federal departments, the fire services, the technical-assistance provider Technisches Hilfswerk, the police forces and telecommunication services. Risk and crisis communication also needs to be improved.

Tasks: 

  • specialist medical advice, support for the departments in consistent healthcare planning 
  • developing and harmonising concepts for the health protection of the population at national and international level, developing interdisciplinary and supra-departmental concepts 
  • medical care at large-scale incidents, conceptual requirements for hospital alarm plans or provision of pharmaceuticals/prevention planning 
  • medical prevention planning for large-scale and/or nationally-significant CBRN-dangers (CBRN = chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear = previously referred to as ABC-protection) 
  • standards for organisation, deployment planning and tactics, logistics, quality management, personnel and material equipment in medical civil protection 
  • risk assessment and evaluation of CBRN dangers for purposes of medical civil protection 
  • developing structures to provide and exchange information, and to build up networks 
  • harmonising concepts and measures of the Länder in health protection with relevance to the performance of the obligatory tasks 
  • advising and supporting the Länder and local authorities in carrying out their tasks in special issues related to the protection against chemical, biological and radioactive hazards, as well as mass casualties


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