The theme for World Health Day reflects a growing global concern with the health impacts of massive and rapid human-driven ecological changes. While climate change is front of mind, having been recognized as “the single biggest health threat facing humanity” by the WHO as far back as 2008, the changes and challenges we face are far greater than that.
Canada has committed to developing climate-resilient, low-carbon health systems. But regrettably, Canada did not commit to creating a net-zero emissions health-care system. It's now up to provincial governments.
A coalition of health professionals recently rallied in Victoria, B.C., to declare a state of climate emergency in B.C. and lay out a plan for the transformative change that will improve the health of the people of B.C. – and the world beyond.
The government agency CIHR released two documents meant to address issues important to the health of Canadians and direct research toward them. But both are unforgivably ignorant of the importance of the ecological determinants of health.