Climate change policy missing at DHBs?

Despite the looming threat of climate change, it seems many of our DHBs have no policies to deal with the added public health complications that the changing climate will bring.

hospitalResearch by the Green Party has discovered nearly half of DHBs have incomplete or inadequate plans to prepare for the health impacts of climate change, with Wairarapa DHB stating it doesn’t think it possible to specify that there even will be any human effects.

According to the World Health Organisation, climate change is “a significant and emerging threat to public health,” but Health Minister Jonathan Coleman revealed last year he had had no correspondence with his Ministry about climate change.

Green health spokesperson Kevin Hague said that “increases in water-borne diseases, skin cancer and the appearance of tropical disease like the zika virus are entirely predictable” and called on Minister Coleman to make it clear to DHBs that they need to prepare for this.