In our safe country, we “react” to disasters like the forest fires or flooding with exorbitant efforts and resources after the crises. But we also lose track of key commitments to civil society and human progress.
The urgency of the climate crisis is only ramping up and our health-care system not only experiences the consequences of climate change but is also a major contributor to the crisis. It's our responsibility to act and make our health-care system a more sustainable one.
Everything is related; solutions must once again be aligned, locally scaled and human centred. We need a more stable, unified approach in health care. We need more transformative models moving forward. Above all, we need primary care and public health to join forces to prepare us for the next big challenge – climate change.
The health sector should treat the fossil-fuel industry as it has treated the tobacco industry – by revealing its health impacts, divesting, severing all financial and commercial links as soon as possible, and urging others to do the same.
The pandemic and climate crisis have put extra strain on the already evolving primary care system and worsened the B.C. family-doctor shortage. But the current structure of family medicine has not adapted.
Our health-care system is very energy intensive and produces large volumes of solid waste and toxic waste. But this is, in fact, counter to our ethical duty to do no harm, which must include not harming the environment and the health of people and communities.
Carbon dioxide is the leading cause of climate change. But when the U.K. experienced a shortage of CO2 last year, it drove consumer fears of higher prices for food and drink. At the heart of this paradox is that, for all the damage that CO2 does, it also has some essential uses in modern society.
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.
As physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, we are already seeing the devastating impacts of climate and ecological crises. Here's what the B.C. government must do to transition to a sustainable, just, and healthy society at peace with nature.
The extreme heat wave that recently boiled Canada is just a preview of what the future holds in store. It's high time we began preparing for dangerous heat in the future. Here are some ways we can start.
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.
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