climate-change

Health and environmental sustainability

How is environmental sustainability important to health?

Nurses and midwives see daily the ways in which everyone’s health is inextricably linked to the health of the environment in which we live. It could be an older person who is admitted with environmental exacerbation of respiratory diseases, or a pregnant woman affected by the heat because her social housing doesn’t have adequate insulation or cooling.

Increasing incidences of heatwaves, bushfires, extreme weather events, drought and high levels of pollution are raising rates of human injury and directly and negatively affecting the key social determinants of health and damaging social and community structures. These negative health impacts in turn increase pressure on already overloaded health services.

 

What’s ANMF (Vic Branch) doing?

ANMF (Vic Branch) supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is contributing to climate action, education and health and wellbeing.  

Health services, as energy and resource intensive businesses and leading producers of waste and greenhouse gases, adversely affect the environment, contributing to global warming and climate change which potentially leads to poor health outcomes for the community. The health implications of climate change and environmental degradation are a central issue for nurses and midwives and many are making a significant contribution to environmentally sustainable healthcare.

In response to a delegates' resolution, passed at the 2012 Delegates Conference, which requested that ANMF (Vic Branch) become more involved in policy debate on climate change and environmental issues, ANMF launched the Health and Environmental Sustainability Conference in 2013. This is now an annual conference which covers a range of issues related to the links between health and the environment. In addition, ANMF (Vic Branch) has become more involved in policy debate on climate change and health and environment issues.  

By promoting action on climate change and environmental sustainability, ANMF (Vic Branch) is supporting members to expand their knowledge, achieve their environmental goals and take positive and practical ideas back to their workplaces.

Victorian health services, often led and supported by nurses and midwives, are also acting to provide healthy practices and improve their environmental sustainability in recognition of the resulting environmental gains and reduction in cost. Recognising the economic and health benefits of action the Victorian Government is also adopting climate friendly policies and plans that mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Heath workers are trusted and respected within the community and have an opportunity to become leaders in reducing the adverse health and environmental impact of climate change and, at the same time, improve healthcare delivery and generating cost savings.

For more information on the campaign, or to share your stories on the impacts of climate change in health, or environmental sustainability initiatives in health, email Ros Morgan ANMF (Vic Branch) Environmental Health Officer via records@anmfvic.asn.au

 

Nursing for the environment: INTENSIVE

Hate the waste? Recycle at home but not at work?
Want to be a part of a quality project that cleans up the way your department practices healthcare?

Nursing for the environment – INTENSIVE is a practical and informational course designed to strengthen your advocacy and leadership around climate mitigation and environmentally sustainable workplace practice. Learn about governance requirements, speak with a range of experts, and develop an action plan.

This course is suitable for registered nurses, enrolled nurses, midwives and personal care workers. 

Please note: This course is currently scheduled to be delivered face to face at ANMF Victorian Branch, 535 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Face to face delivery is subject to change dependent on the COVID-safe conditions and restrictions in place on the course delivery date. 

Register for the next intake 23 June 2021or for the course on 6 October 2021.

Resources:

These resources have been created to align with relevant Victorian guidance and regulation. Clinicians must consult and implement local protocol and prompt documents. Where you identify issues for address, please raise these with management.

Clinical waste

Clinical and related waste in healthcare

HES resources

ANMF (Vic Branch) has been part of a DHHS based working group to develop clear and consistent guidance to Victorian public health services regarding the application of EPA Clinical and Related Waste Guidelines (IWRG612.1).

Waste segregation

Waste segregation in healthcare

HES resources

ANMF (Vic Branch) advocated to government to include healthcare in the Victorian waste education strategy.

Pharmaceutical waste

Pharmaceutical waste in healthcare

HES resources

Evidence suggests that pharmaceutical waste is incorrectly disposed in clinical sharps bins, general waste or down the sink.

PVC waste

PVC recycling in healthcare

HES resources

Resources to help you set up your PVC recycling program.

Organic waste

Organics diversion

HES resources

Working towards more environmentally sustainable hospitals

Metal waste

Single use metal instrument recycling in healthcare

HES resources

Resources to inform the setting up a single use metal instrument recycling program

Climate change

Climate change impact on health and wellbeing

HES resources

The Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023 recognises that climate change is a leading threat to health and wellbeing and tackling climate change and its impact on health is included as one of four key focus areas in the plan.

Governance

Governance in healthcare and other resources

HES resources

Mandatory environmental reporting for public health and other resources

Green nurses and midwives Facebook group

Green nurses and midwives Facebook group

HES resources

A networking group to connect health professionals passionate about making real improvements to sustainability in healthcare.