The ACEM-led project, Sustainable emergency care in a changing climate: Assessing impact and implementing adaptation strategies, is one of six projects to receive funding from the NSW EPA as part of its 2023 Sustainability Partnership Program.

The project, which commences later this year, will survey NSW EDs to quantify and qualify medical waste generation and the success of sustainability measures across the state. It will also seek to quantify the effects of climate change events on workload, cost and resources within EDs.

Comparing this data against other ACEM-accredited hospitals in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, the College will then identify best practice initiatives and lead community dialogue on the roles that EDs and health care stakeholders can play in driving environmental sustainability.

ACEM President Dr Clare Skinner said the new partnership recognised the need for the health system to deliver safe, timely and effective care for patients amid rising temperatures and increasingly extreme climatic events across the country.

“As an emergency physician, I know an emergency when I see one, and climate change is the biggest global threat to emergency departments, health systems and public health."

“Change and action is needed on several fronts, and this measure can help us better understand how environmental change is affecting NSW’s emergency staff.” 

ACEM recently partnered with several other Australian medical colleges to call for a national health and climate strategy that ensures communities are stronger, healthier, and able to thrive in the face of climate change. ACEM’s position statement on climate change and health can be found here.