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Measuring the environmental cost of health-related travel from rural and remote Australia

Colleen Cheek, Timothy Skinner and Isabelle Ellis
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (5): 260-262. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.00185
Published online: 17 March 2014

To the Editor: The environmental impact of Australia’s health system needs to be assessed. Estimates from the United Kingdom indicate that travel is responsible for 13% of health care-related carbon emissions, with patient travel contributing 6%.1 Australia’s total emissions for the year to September 2012 were estimated to be 24.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gas (tCO2e) per capita, with 16% of all emissions being transport-related.2 In a recent study, we sought to estimate the carbon cost associated with health-related travel from rural and remote Australia.

  • Colleen Cheek1
  • Timothy Skinner2
  • Isabelle Ellis3

  • 1 Rural Clinical School, University of Tasmania, Burnie, TAS.
  • 2 Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.
  • 3 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Tasmania, Burnie, TAS.


Acknowledgements: 

The Rural Clinical School of the University of Tasmania is partly funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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