In an article by Medical Republic, DEA's Dr David King talks about the increasing problems of treating patients in our changing climate. But addressing climate change has many public health benefits - from cleaning up air pollution to improving our diets. The AMA, AMSA, DEA, GPs and and other medical organisations are calling for action on climate change to safeguard and improve out health.
January 2019 was the hottest in Australia's recorded history. Heatwaves can kill, and higher temperatures are causing increased incidence of food borne diseases, and changing the patterns and severity of asthma.
The AMA has been pressuring the Australian government to work towards these international targets. In their revised “Climate change and human health” document, the association said good climate policies can have public health benefits beyond their intended impact.
“These health benefits should be promoted as a public health opportunity, with significant potential to offset some costs associated with addressing climate change,” the AMA document states.
Other medical organisations are also taking the initiative to divest their money and assets from projects associated with fossil fuels. The Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) was one of the first to do so in late 2018, calling on the RACGP to follow suit.
GPs are also championing the role of patient advocacy within the debate of climate change. Last month, Dr Tammra Warby, a GP from Queensland, co-authored a declaration for WONCA (The World Organisation of Family Doctors) calling for family doctors of the world to act on planetary health
Since forming in 2001, Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has recruited a multitude of doctors and medical students to work toward their goal of a “healthy planet, healthy people”.
Read the full article here.