Armidale Express: Biggest public health threat is climate change


The recent federal election gave all Australians of voting age an opportunity to have a say on issues that are most important to them. Dr Sujata Allan, who wrote this powerful article ahead of the election, said that as a doctor who has seen first hand the detrimental ways in which climate change harms our health, her focus would be action on climate change - the biggest public health threat of our times. 

Dr Allan wrote that as a GP in Armidale, she has seen the impacts of worsening heatwaves and heat stress on her patients, including fit young outdoor workers. 

Heatwaves already cause more deaths than any other natural disaster in Australia. 

This is only going to worsen in the future if we continue business as usual; we need to urgently tackle climate change. 

 In New England, the drought that is gripping the region is a daily reminder of our reliance on a stable climate. For the first time since the 1970s, Armidale is on water restrictions and Guyra is expected to run out of water by August. 

Drought takes a toll on mental health, with associated stress, anxiety and depression especially amongst farmers.   

Health leaders around the country have issued strong calls to action on climate change. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, which represents over 40,000 GPs, recently signed an open letter to candidates and politicians urging them to acknowledge the profound impacts that climate change has on health. 

We are currently failing to address the underlying cause of climate change. This is despite our lived experience, despite the solid data, despite the many scientific studies which paint an apocalyptic scenario if urgent action is not taken.


Read the full article in the Armidale Express  HERE

For more information on how climate change affects health,  please view our Climate Change and Health in Australia fact sheet.

Photo credit: Pixabay


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