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Insight+: How Australia’s medical colleges can lead our health care sector to net zero

Climate change and associated extreme weather events continue to affect Australia’s health care system, write Dr Sonia Chanchlani and Dr Ben Dunne in Insight+.

It’s imperative that every doctor and health service can manage the changing clinical demands, and that the healthcare sector limits its sizeable greenhouse gas emissions. Australia’s health sector emits more than 7% of the country’s total emissions.

Importantly, the majority of health sector emissions are derived from clinical care pathways, and the specialty colleges and societies can play a critical role in demonstrating leadership.

Advocacy group Doctors for the Environment (DEA) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) have been working together for several years towards a net zero Australian healthcare sector.

It’s pleasing to see that there have been significant steps forward at national and state levels over the past 12 months.

Clinicians are responding to the challenge and leading positive change, and both state and federal governments are stepping up their efforts to support decarbonising the health sector.

Read the full article which was published on 15 April 2024 in Insight+

Dr Ben Dunne is a specialist thoracic surgeon at Royal Melbourne Hospital and a co-chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia’s Sustainable Healthcare Special Interest Group.

Dr Sonia Chanchlani is a Sustainability, Climate and Health Senior Fellow in at the University of Melbourne and a Board Director for Doctors for the Environment Australia.

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