26 September 2023

New health strategy to deal with climate change

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The Department of Health and Aged Care is developing Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy to ensure the nation’s health system can meet the needs of Australians as the climate changes.

According to the Department, the Strategy is to set up a three-year plan of action to prepare better for the health challenges expected to be presented by climate change, including more frequent and severe weather events, extreme temperatures, and poor air quality.

The Strategy is to identify priority areas for action to reduce carbon emissions in the health and aged care sectors, as well as manage the impacts of climate change to ensure all Australians continue to access good quality health and aged care.

To help develop the Strategy the government is seeking community views on the key questions being considered as part of the Strategy.

Following meetings with experts around the country the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney has developed a Consultation Paper.

“The World Health Organisation has described climate change as the greatest threat to public health in the 21st century,” Ms Kearney said.

“We’re listening to the experts and advocacy groups, and importantly the voices of First Nations communities as we develop the National Health and Climate Strategy,” she said.

“Climate change poses a range of threats to our health and wellbeing, from more frequent extreme weather events to changes in disease profiles as well as food and water insecurity.

“I urge everyone concerned about how climate change will affect our health to read the National Health and Climate Strategy consultation paper and provide feedback.”

The 43-page Consultation Paper can be accessed at this PS News link. The Paper is available for feedback until 24 July.

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