On Monday evening ABC’s 4 Corners aired an episode ‘Weather Alert’ looking at how Australia’s changing climate is impacting people. Mounting evidence suggests our changing climate is having an impact on everything - from what we grow, eat and drink, to house prices and the cost of insurance. Doctors for the Environment Australia provided the health segment for rising temperatures also have a significant, often ignored, impact on health.
DEA’s Chair, Professor Kingsley Faulkner explains
“major health hazards (such as the Victorian heatwave of late 2009), and more subtle changes via vector borne diseases etc., are predicted to become much more likely and possibly more deadly unless Australia and the rest of the world take decisive and effective preventative measures against rising global carbon and other GHG emissions causing climate change.”
DEA’s Dr Mark Monaghan, is Head of Emergency Medicine at the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth and was interviewed for this episode. As Dr Monaghan explains the health effects from heatwaves and other such extreme weather events are placing a substantial burden on Australia’s health care system with a notable increase in patients presenting to the emergency department during a heat wave. Vulnerable groups are most at risk.
To date, Australian governments at both state and Federal level have failed to address the risks and management of health impacts arising from our rising climate. Given the significant impacts to people, populations and health, more action is needed.
ABC’s ‘Weather Alert’ first aired on Monday 5 March.
The interview with DEA’s Dr Mark Monaghan occurs at 33.30mins
DEA Fact Sheet Heatwaves and Health in Australia
DEA Fact Sheet Bushfires and Health in a Changing Environment
DEA Fact Sheet Severe Storms, Floods and your Health
DEA Fact Sheet Climate Change and Health
DEA Adaptation Policy: Federal Government leadership on the health consequences of climate change
DEA Discussion paper: Federal Government planning to prevent and manage the health consequences of climate change