Policy: Consultation Response

Submission: National Health and Climate Strategy

Climate change is already impacting the health of Australians, including by leading to death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, storms and floods, increases in water- and vector-borne diseases, and mental health issues.

In July 2023, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences made a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care consultation on a National Health and Climate Strategy.

AAHMS welcomes the Australian Government’s efforts to develop a National Health and Climate Strategy. We strongly support this important initiative and stand ready to assist the Government where needed.

The consultation paper clearly articulates the Government’s vision to reduce the carbon footprint of the health system in Australia and AAHMS strongly supports the objectives associated with this vision – “measurement” and “mitigation”.

However, we believe the strategy would greatly benefit from a more ambitious “health in all policies” approach, which would help ensure any national strategy fully considers the kind of systems-level change needed to promote the greatest benefits to health and society more broadly.

Reducing emissions from the health system will generate critical co-benefits for health but alone it is not sufficient to protect the community from the direct and indirect health impacts of climate change.

Our response has been informed by input from Fellows of the Academy. The health impacts of climate change is a priority area of interest for the Academy. You can find more of our work in this area under the policy tab on our website.

The full AAHMS submission is available for download below.

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