Fresh criticism on Australia’s weather approach

The fresh criticisms — highlighted in an AMA submission to a senate inquiry into the issue — follow similar comments last month by association president Dr Steve Hambleton in response to recent nationwide heatwaves and widespread flooding in Queensland and northern NSW.

In its submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, which is examining trends in, and preparedness for, extreme weather events, the AMA argued that Australia “still lacks a nationally coordinated approach to managing the health impacts” and that information on the likely health risks associated with these events was “fragmentary and dispersed”.

The submission calls for stronger communication linkages between hospitals, major medical centres, local weather forecasters and emergency response agencies.

RACGP president Dr Liz Marles broadly supported the AMA recommendations, saying the response to these events needed to