News & Media Opinion Pieces Science, not vested interests, must shape population policy

Science, not vested interests, must shape population policy

Many doctors are concerned that an overcrowded world will be unhealthy, unhappy and hungry; we must not allow Australia to make this mistake.

In Australia, our concerns over the effects of a growing population are just part of our concerns for the health of all our patients. For these reasons Doctors for the Environment Australia has a population policy which explains the links between population and health.

It is fairly obvious that the present rate of population growth in Australia has imposed considerable strain on existing health services in terms of trained personnel, finance and administration. Any increase in population must be constrained by the rate at which services can be maintained.

The projected increase in size of some Australian cities – Melbourne, for example – can be seen as imprudent, as it is likely to impose adverse health impacts on their populations. Unsustainable population growth also brings secondary economic consequences with health impacts from pollution, overcrowding, loss of green space and lack of recreational facilities.

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