Whilst COVID-19 caused incredible loss, fear and panic around the world, there was a silver lining to the pandemic – a rejuvenation of our environment. With the world in lockdown and an unprecedented downturn in manufacturing, there has since been countless observations and reports of a worldwide ‘re-awakening’ and renewal of our ecosystems due to a reduction in burning fossil fuels. But as we begin to ramp up industry, just as quickly we return to the same destructive path. But it’s not just the environment it affects, it’s people, too. With a rising number of floods, heatwaves, bushfires and other natural disasters being driven by climate change, hospital emergency departments are at the forefront of dealing with the physical and mental effects of this ‘slow-burning’ emergency. In this episode, BN’s Kate Hickey talks to Dr Lai Heng Foong about climate change, it’s links to our healthcare system and our health, what we can do to prevent further damage and what our future might look like if we don’t take action. Lai Heng is an emergency physician in Sydney, and Chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s Public Health and Disaster Committee.
This episode of The Checkup was recorded by Sydney Podcast Studios and edited by Audio Advantage.