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Previous work towards a National strategy

Previous work towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia

Climate resilience standards for healthcare

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CAHA produced a Proposed Standard for minimizing the Health Risks of Climate Change in Healthcare in 2015, in response to an invitation from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, as part of the review of national health performance standards.

The evidence is clear that climate change poses risks to the safety and quality of patient care. Thus climate change should be included in the risks that need integrated systems of governance as in Standard 1 of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

Healthcare standards such as these are needed to ensure healthcare services are adequately prepared to ensure safety and quality of healthcare is not compromised as a result of climate change impacts, and that health services are taking positive steps to reduce their emissions to avoid contributing to the problem, and putting safety and quality even further at risk from increasingly dangerous climate change.

See the Proposed Standard for Minimising the Health Risks of Climate Change in Healthcare, and a Background Paper: Climate Change is a Threat to Safety and Quality of Health Care.

The Vision for a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being (2013)

In the lead-up to the 2013 federal election, CAHA led a consultation with its member groups and developed the following position regarding a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing.

  • A national strategy was required to outline Australia's response to the health risks from climate change and the carbon intensive national economy;
  • This should include strategies to improve the preparedness and ability of the healthcare sector to respond to climate threats to health, including from extreme weather events;
  • Climate resilience in the healthcare sector should be supported through the establishment of a national sustainable healthcare unit in the Department of Health and Ageing to drive change towards low carbon operations in the health sector;
  • The nomination of or establishment of a national agency with responsibility for developing and coordinating policy and research consistent with the National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing was required.

The functions of this agency were envisioned to include:

  • evaluation and reporting on risks to health from climate change and on health benefits from reducing emissions
  • development and monitoring of health impact assessment processes to evaluate the health impacts of policies, plans and projects across sectors, in particular in relation to energy and transport infrastructure projects
  • implementation of an evidence-based climate and health-in-all-policies approach to all policy development
  • the development and delivery of educational campaigns to inform the community on links between climate change, emissions and health and wellbeing

For more information, to download the complete CAHA 2013 Federal Election Platform, click here