News & Media Media Releases Health cost of climate change

Health cost of climate change

Experts on climate change and human health predict huge healthcare costs at iDEA today.

Around 100 medical students and doctors from around Australia will be gathered at the University of Adelaide today and tomorrow to hear Dr Bob Brown, Professor David Karoly from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Michael Kidd, AM and other experts on health and climate change.

The presentations are part of the three-day iDEA conference – an annual event run by medical students drawing together renowned experts on the environment and health.

Extreme weather events caused by a changing climate increasingly put human health at risk. In fact, climate change has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as the biggest health threat of the 21st century.
Medical schools and colleges around Australia are now incorporating climate change into the curriculum to prepare students for the surge of heat waves, natural disasters and vector-borne diseases, which they will encounter in their careers, and to advocate the importance of prevention.

Medical students concerned about the impacts of climate change are seeking knowledge and insight into how they can be advocates for human health through responsible environmental management. The students behind iDEA are members of Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA).

DEA spokesperson, Dr David Shearman explains, “Climate change and extreme weather events are already affecting human health.

“It is important our future doctors take a strong interest in environmental management because so much is at stake for human health,” he said.

This year, a prominent theme at iDEA will be Port Augusta’s need for renewable energy to protect the health of the population.

“Burning of fossil fuel is harmful to people’s health. Clean power generation in Port Augusta is long overdue,” Dr Shearman said.

iDEA conference program:

Media opportunities
Bob Brown: Sunday 10.20 – 11.00am
Adelaide University Napier Building, lower ground, room 29
Others by arrangement.

Media contact
Anne Walker: 0419 505889 or Katya Glogovska: 0410 113734