Changes to our natural environment because of climate change and environmental degradation are already impacting on our health and are projected to drive much of the global burden of disease of the 21st century. Healthcare professionals are at the forefront of dealing with the social and health impacts of climate change yet health care delivery itself is a significant source of global carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. This unit (HMG7004) will examine the direct and indirect pathways through which climate change impacts health outcomes and health equity as well as the environmental impact of health care delivery highlighting the need for a transformation to sustainable health care and health care systems. Students will critically appraise and apply global and local frameworks, strategic actions and policy solutions towards constructing environmentally sustainable healthcare systems focusing on both the demand and supply side of health care. Students will learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and approaches to health and protecting country. Students will develop the skills in communication, advocacy and working collaboratively required to drive change towards sustainability in health care and apply these to the design of local level responses in diverse health care settings.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Cross-examine the direct and indirect pathways that connect human health, the environment and climate change;  
  2. Diagnose the impact of health care delivery on climate change and the environment;  
  3. Reflect on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander approaches to the protection of health and country;  
  4. Critically examine frameworks, policies and local and global efforts in relation to the sustainable health systems and sustainable health care; and  
  5. Advocate for, and formulate collaborative approaches to plan, innovative place-based initiatives for sustainability in health care.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Concept map of health, healthcare, climate and the environment (1000 words) 20%
Presentation Defend a framework for sustainable health care (group work presentation of 30 mins) 30%
Project Plan a place-based sustainable health care initiative (2500 words) 50%

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