MJA Insight+: Doctors need to meet challenge of climate change



It is easy to imagine that climate change isn’t a problem in health care. Individual doctors hold personal opinions on the proposed Adani mine in Queensland or on the importance of health care sustainability practice, but whether climate change affects health and the practice of medicine can seem murkier. It is easy for busy doctors to be distracted by the sea of patients waiting to be seen in emergency departments, in clinic waiting rooms, the referrals for consultations, procedures and follow-up all mounting up in the office. Good medicine involves attention to the patient and their concerns. So, asks Dr Arnagretta Hunter: Is there time for climate change in this?

In an environment of fake news and distrust of science, our role as advocates for human health is crucial.

If we wait until the health effects of climate change are overwhelming, it will be too late. 

It is time for health practitioners to work with our patients and together act on climate change adaptation and mitigation. We can play a significant role in our local communities and our governments in calling for and achieving action.  

Dr Arnagretta Hunter, BA (Hons) MBBS MPH FRACP, is a Canberra-based cardiologist and a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Read the full article in MJA Insight+ which was published on 22 July 2019


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