INDIA | Study finds healthcare professionals support climate action, role of health sector crucial

The largest ever survey on climate change conducted among over 3000 healthcare professionals in India, has revealed that the health sector should play a crucial role in action and advocacy on climate change in India. Over 85% respondents believed that the healthcare sector has a responsibility to address climate change and reduce their own carbon footprint. 3062 healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, hospital administrators, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) health staff and healthcare students were surveyed in this study conducted between August and December 2020.

The respondents belonged to six states in the country representing various zones: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

The findings of the study clearly indicate that health sector leaders want the sector to be at the front and center of action and advocacy on climate change. Indian health sector can make a substantial contribution to mitigate the effects of climate change by adopting green technologies to reduce various greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing energy consumption by adopting renewable energy – Dr. Arvind Kumar, Founder Trustee, Lung Care Foundation.

While the survey found high awareness among healthcare professionals on the issue of climate change, it also revealed that not many of them are currently actively raising the issue of climate change and its impacts among the public. The respondents were of the opinion that much work was needed to make the healthcare systems climate resilient and that the healthcare professionals should be equipped with adequate information for them to raise awareness among the public. 72.8% of those who participated in the survey agreed that it was the need of the hour and climate change and its health impacts must be included in the medical curriculum in India.