WA to probe climate-health links
The WA Government has announced a broad-ranging inquiry into the health impacts of climate change.
The inquiry comes in response to public concern that an increase in extreme weather events will lead to more injury, illness and infectious disease.
“Climate change has been called the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, and it has serious implications for the population of Western Australia and the WA health system,” Mr Cook said on Sunday.
The inquiry will also look at systemic ways to reduce the environmental footprint of healthcare in the state, particularly through reducing emissions and waste.
The state's health system currently goes through 81 million disposable gloves, 42 million single-use items and nine million plastic items like test tubes and instrument trays each year, while also spending $47.3 million on electricity and $17.2 million on water.
“I have called on the WA public health system, as one of the largest agencies in the state, to do more to reduce its emissions, operate more sustainably and implement adaption measures,” Mr Cook said.
“To achieve this, we need to better understand the impacts of our changing climate conditions and their costs - both financial and not financial.”
The inquiry will be conducted by former chief health officer Tarun Weeramanthri, with a final report due by the end of 2019.