The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) in Darwin, Australia, is set to receive more than $55m in government funding to ensure the centre’s operational support and readiness for future health crises.

The funding agreement, underpinned by both the Australian and the Northern Territory governments, will commence in July 2024.

A pivotal element of the federal government’s disaster and emergency response strategy, the NCCTRC offers medical assistance during sudden health emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.

The centre’s location at Darwin Airport and the Royal Darwin Hospital enables it to provide critical trauma care and manage mass casualty events.

The funding will enable the NCCTRC to sustain its 24/7 peak preparedness with the necessary staff, equipment, and resources.

This readiness is crucial for the centre’s role in training and coordinating volunteer Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT), which have been instrumental in various crises, including the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

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NCCTRC executive director Len Notaras said: “I am delighted that the Australian Government has chosen to continue to support the NCCTRC by providing funding for us to continue our important work in health emergency response for the next three years.

“Over the last 19 years, the NCCTRC and the Australian Government have built a strong partnership which has made Australia a global leader in health emergency response.”

Established in 2004, the NCCTRC is not only a specialist trauma medicine hub for northern Australia but also provides injury prevention programmes, disaster research, and education.

Its influence extends across South-East Asia and Pacific countries, enhancing trauma care and disaster response capabilities in the region.