Everyday, health care professionals see first-hand the devastating impacts of our changing climate. From wildfires to heat waves to new infectious diseases, our health care system is already dealing with the health effects of climate change.
The CMA echoes the findings published today in the Lancet Countdown Policy Brief: Canada in 2020, which highlights the growing impact of extreme heat and air pollution on health and includes recommendations for how Canada can make the most significant difference to reduce the increasing impact of climate change on health.
Recently, our members told us that they are seeing health issues becoming more frequent or intense because of climate change. For example, they report concerns over the impact of climate change on heat-related illnesses, physical or mental harm from storms, floods, droughts and forest or bush fires, illnesses due to reduced outdoor air quality and the prevalence of anxiety, depression and other health conditions.
We are fully aware that right now our priority is managing COVID-19, but we can look at this pandemic as an opportunity to do things differently going forward. So, let’s work together to bring change through a climate-committed lens because – as with COVID-19 – no country is immune to the impact of climate change.
Dr. Ann Collins
President, Canadian Medical Association