The health profession needs to actively advocate for Government action on climate change and economic inequalities to ensure the survival of humanity, according to an article in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.
Dr Peter Tait from the Public Health Association of Australia's Environmental Health Special Interest Group says various threats to the health and wellbeing of humanity are combining to create global environment change, which is placing stress on the ecological and social foundations of society.
Dr Tait says that serious current environmental problems include destruction and loss of natural resources, ceilings on natural resources, an increasing human population and the creation or movement of harmful substances.
"Humanity is facing a series of serious, unprecedented ecological and social changes caused by ourselves," Dr Tait says.
"As health care professionals, we will need to modify both our health systems and the way we practise to meet the challenge of new health problems, and to adapt to old health problems in new guises.
"We also have a duty of care to our patients to strongly advocate for action.
"Collectively, our academic colleges and professional associations must advocate strongly and clearly to government about the gravity of our predicament and the need for urgent, wide-ranging action.
"Humanity needs a new vision for health for the year 2100: to make sure we have an economically equitable society on an ecologically healthy planet."
The Medical Journal of Australia
is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.