Provincial Health Emergency Operation Centers (PHEOCs)

Fig: HEOC Network of Nepal

In the federated governance system, a functional HEOC network is needed for achieving the objective of saving lives and reducing suffering during times of crisis across different levels.

Following on the success of effective response by the HEOC during the Nepal Earthquake, 2015, the then Hon. Health Minister requested WHO, during his participation in the 68th session of World Health Assembly (WHA), for establishing such HEOCs in each of the five development regions of Nepal. However, following federalization, these sub-national HEOCs had to be established at all seven provinces to act as command centers for the provincial government in case of any emergencies and disasters. Moreover, they were established as a coordination hub with roles and functions similar and complementary to the HEOC at national level. Their major function was to coordinate with Hub and Satellite Hospital Network, relevant health/ non-health sector partners and non-health EOCs for preparedness and response readiness at the sub-national level. 

Table: Status of National HEOC and Provincial HEOCs Network

The main responsibility of the Provincial HEOCs is to act as information repository in the respective provinces and to maintain horizontal coordination with health sector partners and with other sectoral EOCs to collect and analyze data, make decisions that protect life and property, maintain continuity of MoHP interventions, within the scope of applicable laws and disseminate those decisions to all concerned agencies and individuals.

Provincial HEOC coordinates with Provincial EOCs, health sector and external
development partners, hub and satellite hospital networks, provincial hospitals, medical colleges, district hospitals and primary hospitals to maintain the coordination and collect information for timely response to any disaster caused by a variety of hazards - biological, climatological, geological and man-made. The current status of establishment and the location of provincial HEOCs with the support of WHO. Five of the seven PHEOCs are permanent with the structural component of only the PHEOC of Bagmati Province being constructed by the respective Provincial government.