Climate disasters have a multiplier effect on the challenges already experienced by rural communities, while they continue to be relied on to provide for Australians’ wellbeing, said the National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) Chief Executive Susanne Tegen in an op-ed to Croakey Health Media.
Ms Tegen said the Alliance believes that climate change is a significant and enduring threat to health and that the risks to wellbeing and livelihoods are greater in rural and remote communities.
The Alliance calls on the Australian Government and other levels of government to work with industry for targeted and proactive measures that take rural realities into account, when drawing up policies and implementing strategies to minimise climate impact.
'Governments and other support agencies, as well as industries, have a social contract to determine how best to ensure those members of society living in rural and remote Australia, and already struggling with inequitable access to health care, are not further disadvantaged by the health impacts of climate change. Funding of appropriate programs will be an important investment for all Australians,' Ms Tegen added.