Monday, July 4, 2022
NewsEnvironmentDoctors union warn climate change is damaging patient health

Doctors union warn climate change is damaging patient health

A DOCTORS’ union has reminded world leaders of their “moral responsibility” to protect public health, warning that climate change is damaging patient health.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has highlighted how climate change will increase pressure on the NHS, labelling its impact as “devastating” and “totally avoidable”.

The BMA also suggested that global warming‘s affects were already being seen in the health service, noting that patient health had suffered as a consequence.

 

Climate change will impact health services - News
The BMA is highlighting the impact of climate change on health services and warns that world leaders must take the promises made at COP26 seriously.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In the long term, they have warned, this mounting demand will ultimately threaten patient care and safety.

The union also stressed that environmental changes can also impact mental health, particularly in the wake of extreme weather events.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair, said: “The impact that climate change is already having on global population health is incredibly worrying, but to know it could get worse without decisive action is truly terrifying.

“Doctors in the UK are now seeing patients suffering with the effects that climate change is having on their health, and it’s devastating because this is totally avoidable – particularly the impact it can have on children’s health and those living in urbanised areas.”

She added that the BMA is committed to change, publishing multiple reports last year into how the NHS can become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

The union is also working to make its own premises more ecologically friendly, but Professor Kumar has warned that “we’re never going to see the change that’s needed without global collaboration”.

She continued: “World leaders have a moral responsibility to protect public health, which is why they must take COP26 and the promises they make there, seriously.

“If they don’t, the consequences are simple: the health of the global population and future generations will be at stake.”

At present, estimates from the World Health Organisation predict that there will be 250,000 additional deaths between 2030 and 2050, as a result of climate change.

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