Doctor and Nurses Climate Rally Goes Ahead in Nelson and Victoria

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(Image provided by Facebook)

Kootenay Boundary Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health is a newly formed group of climate concerned health professionals in our area ready to make their voices heard.

Earlier this week The Bounce Radio Newsroom heard from Medical Doctor Andre Piver about members of the medical community that are banding together with shared concern for climate-caused impacts on our health. Now a first of it’s kind doctor and nurse climate is set for today in Nelson.

Local Family Physician Doctor Helena Czubernat says people in her position see these impacts on the frontline:

“From day to day we see eco-distress which is a formal term to describe anxiety related to climate change and the impacts of that and it doesn’t just affect young people it affects older people (and) it affects people with kids. So it starts there and with the impact to mental health…. And then of course we see people with lung disease; it gets exacerbated during forest fire seasons….”

Doctor Czubernat says there's a lot of waste in healthcare that many members of the community are keen to help improve:

“I think with any person that gets overwhelmed with trying to make changes and wondering if they’re significant enough, we were starting to feel that as well, you know what is saving one plastic speculum? Or an ER doctor trying to re-use bottles that have gel in them for ultrasound use and finding out all the barriers to the recycling processes of that….”

She says Kootenay Boundary Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health wants the province to declare a climate and ecological emergency and act on both crises:

“I think a big part of us too is we recognize how the government was able to act in response to the COVID crisis, and I think we’re ready to ask for that same response in declaring a climate emergency and just starting to build back better.”

She adds the group hopes to write to government on their concerns and fight for more community based change following this week's rally. The recently formed branch is holding the first of it's kind doctor and nurse climate rally at Nelson City Hall today at 12:30PM. Elsewhere in BC, West Coast Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health demonstrators are taking their concerns to the legislature in Victoria today.