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The contribution of public health officers is of crucial importance in both the preparedness planning process and the response to health threats since the implementation of public health measures lies within the competence of the public health system. Thus, public health officers on regional and district level have to be involved in every stage of the planning process for crisis management. Federal structures of health systems as equivalent to the political structure of a country pose specific challenges for both the planning process and the response itself. The most important instrument for the evaluation of crisis plans, including the assessment of the public health officers' preparedness, is the performance of exercises. The success of a simulation exercise depends mainly on careful planning process, clear evaluation criteria and a work plan, that allows for necessary improvements of crisis plans of all involved organisations. Simulation exercises are an integrated element of preparedness activities on all administrative levels of the public health system. Depending on the nature of the exercise public health officers on regional and district level are involved as planners or as players. .


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