Health system needs to be protected from climate change: doctors
“It means the system has little or no capability to surge in response to a significant occasion.”
Dr Fitzgerald, together with co-authors Anthony Capon from the College of Sydney and Peter Aitken from Queensland Well being’s Catastrophe Administration Unit, mentioned the key threat to Australia was heatwaves turning into extra frequent.
“Heatwaves will not be one thing which are normally thought of within the realm of great disasters however it’s a very major problem,” Dr Fitzgerald mentioned.
“With heatwaves extra folks will die and get sick from issues like respiratory sicknesses, strokes and issues like that, in addition to dehydration.”
Increased temperatures additionally present vectors for illness, particularly mosquito-bourne sicknesses, with the bugs travelling additional south than ordinary.
That was on high of extra frequent pure disasters placing a pressure on the well being system, he mentioned.
Throughout Australia, there was a summer season of back-to-back fires, floods and cyclones, and the specialists concern that would change into the norm fairly than the exception.
In Queensland alone, there have been unprecedented bushfires throughout many components of the state in summer season, and a significant flood throughout the state’s north sparked by a damaging cyclone.
Specifically, Dr Fitzgerald mentioned pure disasters weren’t simply direct impacts on the well being system because of folks needing rapid therapy, but additionally blocked folks with persistent situations from getting their common remedies.
Finally, the paper concludes, the mover in direction of strengthening well being techniques throughout the nation won’t be simple however it will likely be essential to keep away from main interruptions to companies sooner or later.
Dr Fitgerald mentioned there wanted to be an answer that includes all facets of the well being system, together with GPs.
“We have to interact the first care sector who’re going to be on the forefront of most disasters,’ he mentioned.
“Now we have to take a whole-of-system, method, partaking GPs and first care, partaking the private and non-private sectors
“We’d like well being techniques that are versatile and agile and are ready to reply to the sudden imposts which can happen because of local weather associated disasters.”
Stuart Layt covers well being, science and know-how for the Brisbane Instances. He was previously the Queensland political reporter for AAP.