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Adapting Australian health facilities to cope with climate‐related extreme weather events

Jane Carthey (Centre of Health Assets Australasia, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia)
Venny Chandra (Centre of Health Assets Australasia, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia)
Martin Loosemore (Centre of Health Assets Australasia, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 20 February 2009

1339

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current state of FM preparedness required to deal with the risks to healthcare delivery posed by climate change‐related extreme weather events.

Design/methodology/approach

Selected stakeholders were invited to participate in targeted focus groups that, using the ROMS methodology, explored the status of current knowledge and preparedness of the NSW health system to deal with the expected demands imposed by increasing incidences of extreme weather events. Findings are summarised and discussed in terms of the key stakeholder objectives identified. Further areas of required research are then discussed.

Findings

The key objectives of the stakeholders were readily agreed, however a lack of information regarding the quantifiable impacts forecast to be associated with climate change constrained the development of other than generic strategies for dealing with these impacts. Further areas of research included assessment of changing demand for health services, likely physical impacts on facilities and their adequacy in coping with these, implementation strategies for augmenting coping capacity and associated costs, plus the need for integrating disaster planning and management strategies to ensure the continuity of operation of health facilities during extreme weather events.

Originality/value

The paper outlines the status of current knowledge regarding the likely impact of climate change‐related extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure. It explores key issues and determines where future work should be undertaken to ensure that rigorous FM responses are available to cope with a clear and identified threat to the health of the Australian, and similar communities.

Keywords

Citation

Carthey, J., Chandra, V. and Loosemore, M. (2009), "Adapting Australian health facilities to cope with climate‐related extreme weather events", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 36-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/14725960910929556

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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