The Importance of Climate-Ready Healthcare and Protecting Environmental Defenders

The Importance of Climate-Ready Healthcare and Protecting Environmental Defenders

As Australia faces the threat of Cyclone Kirrily in north Queensland, another crisis looms large. Heatwave warnings and climate change concerns continue to escalate, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable healthcare and action to protect our environment. In a recent publication by The Milbank Quarterly, titled ‘Toward a Climate-Ready Health Care System: Institutional Motivators and Workforce Engagement,’ barriers and solutions to achieving climate readiness in healthcare institutions were addressed.

Financial and regulatory constraints, as well as understaffing, were identified as major hurdles institutions face in becoming climate-ready. To overcome these challenges, the publication suggests various policy recommendations and opportunities for healthcare professionals to address the causes and impacts of climate change. Dr. Caleb Dresser from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health emphasizes that achieving climate readiness requires the involvement of all healthcare professionals, from pharmacists to social workers.

The policy recommendations put forward include coupling healthcare system preparedness regulations with new funding streams, integrating sustainability metrics into health care organization accreditation, financing programs to improve health equity in the context of climate change, setting guidelines for inclusion of climate readiness information in education and certification of health professionals, and professionalizing climate readiness activities through formalization of new roles and practice guidelines.

However, it is not just healthcare professionals who are crucial in tackling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Environmental defenders, who act for the benefit of us all, must also be protected. The UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders, Michel Forst, has raised serious concerns about “regressive new laws” in the UK that undermine the right to peaceful protest and put environmental defenders at risk.

In the midst of these crises, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of climate-ready healthcare and the need to protect those who defend our environment. By making lasting systemic changes and ensuring the safety of environmental defenders, we can work towards a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

FAQ Section:

Q: What is the article about?
A: The article addresses the need for sustainable healthcare and action to protect the environment, particularly in response to the threat of Cyclone Kirrily in north Queensland.

Q: What were the major challenges mentioned for healthcare institutions to become climate-ready?
A: Financial and regulatory constraints, as well as understaffing, were identified as major hurdles for healthcare institutions to become climate-ready.

Q: What are the policy recommendations suggested in the publication?
A: The policy recommendations include coupling healthcare system preparedness regulations with new funding streams, integrating sustainability metrics into health care organization accreditation, financing programs to improve health equity in the context of climate change, setting guidelines for including climate readiness information in education and certification of health professionals, and professionalizing climate readiness activities through new roles and practice guidelines.

Q: Who else is important in addressing the triple planetary crisis?
A: Environmental defenders, who act for the benefit of all, are also crucial in addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Q: What concerns did the UN Special Rapporteur raise regarding the UK?
A: The UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders raised concerns about “regressive new laws” in the UK that undermine the right to peaceful protest and put environmental defenders at risk.

Definitions:

– Climate readiness: Refers to the ability of healthcare institutions to effectively respond and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
– Environmental defenders: Individuals or groups who actively work to protect the environment and its resources.
– Sustainability metrics: Measurements used to assess the sustainability performance of an organization or system, including its environmental and social impacts.

Suggested Related Links:

Toward a Climate-Ready Health Care System: Institutional Motivators and Workforce Engagement
United Nations Environment Programme
World Health Organization – Climate Change and Health

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