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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112370

Stress Testing the Capacity of Health Systems to Manage Climate Change-Related Shocks and Stresses

1
Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
2
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
3
Department of Global Health, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
4
Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada
5
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue W, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
6
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada
7
Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments)
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Abstract

Vulnerability and adaptation assessments can provide valuable input to foster climate-resilient health systems. However, these assessments often do not explore the potential health risks of climate change far outside the range of recent experience with extreme weather events and other climate-related hazards. Climate and health stress tests are designed to increase the capacity of health systems and related sectors to manage potentially disruptive climate-related shocks and stresses. Stress tests focus on hypothetical scenarios, during which it would be difficult for the health system to maintain its essential function of providing services to protect population health. The stress test explores approaches to effectively manage acute and chronic climate-related events and conditions that could directly impact health systems, and climate-related events in non-health sectors that can indirectly impact health outcomes and/or health system function. We provide detailed methods and guidance for conducting climate and health stress tests, centering on three primary activities: (1) preparing and scoping the stress test; (2) successfully conducting the stress test; and (3) communicating the results to key stakeholders to facilitate policy and programmatic reforms. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate variability; health risks of climate change; health systems; health workforce; stress test; vulnerability and adaptation assessments climate change; climate variability; health risks of climate change; health systems; health workforce; stress test; vulnerability and adaptation assessments
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ebi, K.L.; Berry, P.; Hayes, K.; Boyer, C.; Sellers, S.; Enright, P.M.; Hess, J.J. Stress Testing the Capacity of Health Systems to Manage Climate Change-Related Shocks and Stresses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2370.

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