Media release - iDEA18: Why your doctor is talking climate change

Australia’s doctors will meet in Newcastle, NSW, this weekend to discuss how they can protect the community from pollution, climate change impacts such as heatwaves and other environmental hazards.
iDEA18: Health in a changing climate is organised by Doctors for the Environment Australia, whose members include recipients of the Australia of the Year award such as Professor Fiona Stanley, Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty, and other leading health experts.

Event organiser and Chair of DEA NSW Dr John Van Der Kallen says,  "There is a strong tradition of doctors responding in crisis situations, which now happens to involve the vital life support systems of planet Earth that are essential to all life.

“Doctors are already seeing patients whose complaint has some connection to our fast changing environment—whether it’s seeing adults whose asthma requires steroid treatment for the first time in years as a response to unusually excessive thunderstorms, or are in emergency due to heat stress because of unseasonal hot weather.

“Climate chaos threatens the advances in healthcare that we have gained over the past 50 years.”

iDEA18 event highlights include:

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler talking about the state of play regarding climate change policy and action in Australia, and the importance of climate change action to health.

Mark Butler’s presentation comes ahead of next week’s COAG meeting on energy policy.

A public Forum featuring Bob Brown on how activism can bring about a healthier world.

A presentation on Health, Sustainable Diet and Agriculture

Many serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many cancers, are diet and lifestyle related. Appropriate diets reduce the risk of these diseases, and they also have a far smaller carbon footprint. 

Greening healthcare, and the savings to the healthcare system from sustainable practices that lower emissions. The heath care system is currently responsible for 7% of Australia’s total emissions.

New research revealing the true cost of coal-fired power stations in NSW. The analysis shows that for each Megawatt hour of electricity generated, there is a cost of $1.92 in premature mortality and increased hospital costs.

“iDEA18 is about safeguarding public health and wellbeing,” says Dr Van Der Kallen.

“Educating ourselves and our patients of the critical link between human health and planetary planet is essential—especially as health is missing in the current debates on environment and energy policies.“

iDEA18 Conference link

Media contact
Dr John Van Der Kallen, 0431 535 742
Dr Sujata Allan, 0416 550 242
Media and Communications Coordinator, Carmela Ferraro, 0410703074

About DEA
DEA is an independent organisation of medical doctors protecting health through care of the environment

We are supported by a Scientific Committee of distinguished health experts: Prof Stephen Boyden AM, Prof Emeritus Chris Burrell AO, Prof Peter Doherty AC, Prof Michael Kidd AM, Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Stephen Leeder AO, Prof Ian Lowe AO, Prof Robyn McDermott, Prof Lidia Morawska, Prof Peter Newman AO, Prof Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Prof Hugh Possingham, Prof Lawrie Powell AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, Dr Norman Swan

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