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Medical Students Support Greater Climate Action

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Media release – Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), 24 May 2021 Medical students support greater climate action to protect the health of Australians Medical students join young people across Australia in calling on the Federal Government to establish more ambitious and sustainable measures to address the climate crisis. At 16 rallies across the nation recently, […]

Media release – Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), 24 May 2021

Medical students support greater climate action to protect the health of Australians

Medical students join young people across Australia in calling on the Federal Government to establish more ambitious and sustainable measures to address the climate crisis.

At 16 rallies across the nation recently, medical students have demonstrated their desire for greater meaningful, sustainable mitigation of climate change. Delegations of medical students, organised by the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) in collaboration with Doctors for the Environment Australia, have rallied across Australia to call for greater action to prevent climate change and to promote sustainability in the healthcare sector.

“We have the opportunity to start working towards reforming the healthcare sector to align its practices with its values – that is taking the actions required to protect the health of its patients. As future doctors, we want to work in sustainable hospitals. To achieve this, we need to see collaboration between the ministers responsible for health and for the environment,” said Ms Sophie Keen, AMSA President.

“Reducing the health impacts of climate change through mitigation and adaptation strategies is a national priority for AMSA in 2021. As medical students and doctors, we are vital in raising awareness of these health impacts, and ultimately managing their effect on Australians.”

“As healthcare professionals of the future, we are acutely aware of the health and social impacts of climate change, and the role we will play in addressing these,” said Ms Rachel Niesen, AMSA Code Green Project Coordinator.

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“The passion demonstrated by Australia’s medical students should highlight the significance of the impact climate inaction will have on health, and their determination to see the health of Australians protected.”

This rally comes after students lament the absence of new funding and commitment to renewable energy sources in the 2021 Federal budget. AMSA’s Climate Change and Health Policy calls for the Australian Federal and State Governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 45-65% of 2005 levels by 2030 in accordance with IPCC recommendations. However, the 2021 Federal budget falls short by aiming to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 26-28% in the same timeframe.

Until greater support for renewable and sustainable energy production is seen, medical students across Australia will continue calling on the government to take adequate action to protect the health and wellbeing of Australians.

In aligning with School Strikes 4 Climate and their #FundOurFutureNotGas pledge, students call for greater climate action with particular focus on measures which promote economic recovery and are Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander-led to ensure land rights and care for country.

Australia’s healthcare industry contributes an estimated 7% of Australia’s CO2 emissions. AMSA continues to call for the Federal Government to commit funding to facilitate the establishment of a National Sustainable Development Unit to coordinate environmental sustainability in Australian healthcare, and develop solar hospitals through the installation of solar panels across public hospitals and health services.

AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students. AMSA recognises climate change as a ‘health emergency’. AMSA believes that a more sustainable healthcare system, resulting from improved coordination and accountability, will assist in safeguarding the health of Australians and in preventing a climate catastrophe.

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Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/05/medical-students-support-greater-climate-action/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medical-students-support-greater-climate-action

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