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Medical Professionals Write Parliament an RX

OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health delivers prescriptions to Parliament.

Medical professionals representing the OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health group delivered oversized prescription forms to Parliament today, urging lawmakers to reconsider the current changes proposed to the emissions trading scheme (ETS), changes they believe will harm the nation's health as well as the economy.

“Runaway climate change is recognised as the leading health issue for this century, and doctors must speak out.” Said OraTaiao group spokesperson Dr. John McCall, an Auckland surgeon and professor, in a November 18 press release ( "The right scheme could benefit health, but proposed changes look set to do the opposite.”

Changes to the ETS are estimated by the Treasury to increase the national debt by $110 billion in the next forty years.

Dr. McCall asserts that funds to health and social services will become more vulnerable under the proposed ETS changes.

"Future taxpayers will have to subsidise big wealthy polluters to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, which is outrageous. As long as taxpayers foot the bill there is no incentive for change, so no environmental benefits either,”said McCall.

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Orataiao group co-convenor, Dr. Rhys-Jones, stated that the current ETS "fails to protect the most vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change.

"Right now the cost of food and fuel burden Maori, Pacific and low income families disproportionately. This ETS will make it worse." Jones declares. "Maori communities will suffer because of poorer existing housing and community infrastructure, and economic reliance on threatened fishery and shellfish stocks."

Prescriptions received at Parliament.

Click to enlarge

Orataiao presented the prescription forms to Green Party MPs Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Russell Norman, who vowed to convey the group's concerns to the rest of Parliament.

For more information about the proposed changes to the ETS please see the following article:

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