From warming temperatures in the north to wildfires, heat waves and flooding, many Canadians are experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand. Health care professionals see the impact on patients’ health, including heat-related conditions, cardiorespiratory illnesses, infectious disease outbreaks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The World Health Organization has identified air pollution and climate change as one of the biggest threats to global health. Extreme weather events are causing an increased strain on health care facilities and providers, necessitating emergency preparedness planning. The CMA believes physicians have a role to play in helping advance public understanding of the health consequences of climate change and supporting the development of public health responses.
The CMA has joined the Canadian Public Health Association and others in highlighting the links between climate change and health and calling on federal, provincial and territorial governments to take action to help prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change on Canadians.