27 Nov 2013

Second Australian medical team leaving for Tacloban

6:35 am on 27 November 2013

A second team of Australian doctors leaves on Wednesday to the Philippines to replace the first sent there after Typhoon Haiyan.

The Australian Medical Assistance Team has so far treated more than 1700 people at a 60-bed field hospital they established near Tacloban airport.

A replacement team of 37 doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, paramedics, logisticians and a pharmacist will leave Darwin on Wednesday morning.

"They're tired, it's fair to say," Team Bravo leader Dr Nicholas Coatsworth said in Darwin on Tuesday.

"We're looking forward to getting there and helping them out."

AAP reports Team Alpha is performing more than 20 surgeries and seeing between 150 - 190 patients a day. More than 1700 have been treated in 12 days.

By the end of the second deployment in another fortnight, AusMAT expects to have seen 3500 people.

Dr Coatsworth said the biggest challenge has been the number and severity of injuries.

"The guys have seen some incredibly difficult cases and incredibly sick patients in need. They've done a lot of life- and limb-saving surgery.

"What we'll see medically is a change from acute trauma. We're going to start seeing people with respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea, and a lot more women and children, which we're prepared for."