Climate code black

5 Jul 2021

South Australia’s junior doctors are demanding change in response to the growing evidence of climate change impacts on health, writes AMA(SA) Doctors in Training Committee Chair Dr Ekta Paw.

Junior doctors frequently reflect upon our responsibility as professionals to advocate for patient wellbeing outside the typical clinical setting. The AMA(SA) Doctors in Training Committee presented some of the most recent evidence published in this area before proposing a motion for AMA(SA) Council to vote on at its June meeting. We wanted to establish an ongoing and coordinated effort in response to the growing evidence that climate change is a global health issue.

The AMA officially recognised climate change as a global health emergency in September 2019 and AMA Federal and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) have released joint statements that aim for emission reductions and other sustainable measures.

The following motion was adopted unanimously by AMA(SA) Council on 3 June:

The AMA(SA) Committee of Doctors in Training calls for AMA(SA) Council to adopt an ongoing process dedicated to climate advocacy and to establish a working group of diverse AMA South Australia members to advocate for change within:
a)    AMA(SA)
b)    the healthcare sector, including the establishment of a state sustainable development unit
c)    public policy.

Thanks to AMA(SA) DiT Committee colleague Dr Georgia Smithson-Tomas for her assistance in drafting this motion.

To get involved with the AMA(SA) DiT Committee or for more information visit the AMA(SA) website here.