Sustainable general practice

Publication Name

Australian Journal of General Practice


Background Climate change is a health emergency, and general practitioners have an important role in both mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change. Climate change is already impacting health in a myriad of ways, including death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, disruptions to food systems and changes in vector-borne diseases. General practice can demonstrate leadership by embracing sustainability as part of a primary care ethos aligning it with quality care. Objectives The aim of this article is to outline the steps required to achieve and promote sustainability from practice operations through to clinical care and advocacy. Discussion Achieving sustainability requires not just a consideration of energy use or waste, but also a fundamental re-evaluation of the purpose and practice of medicine. A planetary health perspective requires us to recognise our connectedness to and dependence on the health of nature. It demands a change to models of healthcare that are sustainable, prioritise prevention and are inclusive of the social and environmental dimensions to health.

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