The BMA has warned in a report that higher temperatures and heavier rainfall may increase the spread of infections like malaria that have been virtually non-existent in the UK.
More flooding may lead to the spread of contaminated substances, including chemical waste, pesticides or inadequately treated sewage. Warmer climates may also mean an increase in skin cancers, sunburn and stroke.
The report, ‘Health professionals – taking action on climate change’, is calling on doctors and other health professionals to take the lead on this issue.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s Head of Science and Ethics, said today: ‘Our report provides doctors with practical measures they can take in order to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Given that it is the health service that often picks up the pieces when severe weather conditions strike, it makes sense for the NHS to invest in preventative healthcare and treatment for the health implications relating to climate change.’