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): . || 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.

  • 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.



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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