Physicians’ New Year Hopes for Climate Change

(30.12.2016) The hopes and concerns of physicians around the world for 2017 have been set out in a New Year message from the World Medical Association.

Among the Association’s main hopes is that world leaders will redouble their efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

WMA President Dr. Ketan Desai said: ‘One of the most important new policies that the WMA adopted this year was to urge health organisations around the world to transfer their investments from energy companies relying on fossil fuels to those generating energy from renewable sources. We would hope to see considerable progress on this in 2017.

‘We would also hope to see governments strengthen public health systems to improve the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change. Now is the time for the governments to act on their promised commitments to tackle climate change, not to retreat’.

A significant concern of the Association’s is the increasing risk to physicians and health care professionals of being targeted in war zones and areas of conflict.

Dr. Desai said: ‘The number of deaths and injuries among physicians and other health care professionals over the past year is a tragic reminder of the declining respect for international laws and conventions concerning the protection which should be given to all medical personnel in war zones. The bombing of hospitals and other health care facilities has to stop and we would hope in the year ahead to see all governments sign up to new and real efforts to respect health services as one of the core values of international humanitarian law’.