Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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Carbon tax a win for health

Mon, 02/07/2012
Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)


The Carbon Tax is a win for the future health of Australians, according to the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association (AHHA).  

The Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and a national voice for universally accessible, high quality healthcare.

Climate experts agree that the health impacts of climate change, such as the spread of infectious diseases and illness, and fatalities related to severe weather events, are significant and pose a huge threat for the future,” Ms Prue Power AM, AHHA CEO said today.

In fact, some experts believe that in the medium and long term, climate change could constitute a health crisis at least as wide-ranging as that currently caused by tobacco. 

Unfortunately, it is the most vulnerable members of the community who are most at risk from climate change. In Australia, this means the very old, the very young, people with chronic disease, people in communities with low socioeconomic status, and Indigenous communities.

Reducing carbon emissions will help reduce the negative health impacts of climate change on all Australians, in particular those from vulnerable groups.  The increase in health will have flow-on effects in terms of increased productivity. This is likely to run into the billions of dollars, particularly when projected over the next 50 and 100 years.

Policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions can have other health benefits, such as the improvement in fitness resulting from encouraging (and providing the infrastructure to enable) people to walk or cycle instead of using their cars.  

As Australia moves to begin pricing carbon emissions, the health sector has an important role to play through reducing its own carbon footprint, promoting climate policies which will reduce the impacts of climate change on human health, and ensuring the preparedness of the health system for the challenges to it that climate change and warmer temperatures will bring.

AHHA’s members support the introduction of the Carbon Tax as one measure to reduce carbon emissions and therefore decrease the threat of climate change to the health of the Australian community,” Ms Power said.

For more information/comment: Ms Prue Power, CEO AHHA, 0417 419 857