Impact of climate change on the health care system in Belgium
Following measure 8 of the National Adaptation Plan (2017-2020) “Taking into account the impact of climate change and adaptation needs in the framework of the future National Environment and Health Action Plan (NEHAP)”, the FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment published a study on the effects of climate change on human health in Belgium on 9 August 2021. The study was carried out by the consortium VITO, Möbius and Sciensano on behalf of the FPS.
The study includes an inventory and assessment of current and planned measures to improve the resilience of health systems in Belgium. The focus is, among other things, on the evaluation of the effectiveness, the degree of implementation and the limitations.
Based on these results, combined with the identification of current risks and medium- and long-term risks, 61 recommendations for adaptation measures were proposed to mitigate or avoid the adverse effects of climate change. These recommendations concern data availability, legislation, communication, control measures and land use planning, research, etc. They are addressed in particular to decision-makers and health sector actors, with special attention to vulnerable populations (low-income groups, people with outside employment, the elderly, chronically ill, etc.).
These adaptation measures provide an adequate response to the climate risks identified for the health system and will be further studied and developed in future adaptation plans.