Reversing climate change could be the greatest health accomplishment of the 21st century.
In an article in the US magazine ‘Fortune’ to coincide with the climate change summit in Poland, Dr. Eidelman President WMA writes that if doctors wanted to fully uphold the Declaration of Geneva’s creed that ‘the health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration’, they needed to take an active role in defending their patients from the adverse effects of climate change.
Physicians are well suited to play this role. They often have close relationships with patients and their families and had an obligation not only to diagnose and treat the damage caused by climate change, but also to advice.
Patients should be told to become more conscious in their use of transportation, living in environmentally efficient housing and eating conscientiously—which means less meat, less wasting food, and using fewer single-use products and packaging.’
Doctors also should look at their own practice. High tech modern medicine was also high in energy and material consumption and this had a price in energy consumption, single-use products and abundant packaging of medical products.
The WMA supports physicians in investigating the environmental footprint of their practices with initiatives, such as ‘My Green Doctor’, a guide for doctors on implementing environmentally friendly practices.
Some medical organizations have commonly decided to divest from high carbon dioxide-producing industries and to boost our environmentally responsible investing.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA