Adaptation and networking of primary care and specialist care with regard to the health effects of climate change
Start date: 2023
End date: 2025
Funding: Innovationsausschuss beim Gemeinsamen Bundesausschuss G-BA (Innovationsfond)
Project responsibility on site: Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig, Dr. Irena Kaspar-Ott, Fabio Álvarez M.Sc
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. It is leading to changes in health risks worldwide and also in Germany. Increasingly, there are climatic developments such as heat waves or extreme weather, which change the exposure to these climatic events as well as the spread and course of infectious diseases on a local level. This creates major challenges for public health. The prevention and care of climate-related health risks, especially for vulnerable population groups, such as people with pre-existing respiratory conditions or the elderly, has hardly been an issue in primary care and specialist medical practice to date.
The AdaptNet project team therefore aims to develop and implement a program to adapt medical care to climate change. To this end, the health effects of climate change in the Nuremberg region (Bavaria, Germany) are being studied in detail as an example of an urban agglomeration. Specifically, the project team is developing well-founded estimates of the changes caused by climate change and which diseases are likely to occur more frequently as a result. Based on this, the necessary adjustments in care will be derived.
The result will be a Climate Toolbox composed of basic training on climate change and health for physicians, a pre-summer medication check-up on heat, practice emergency plans for extreme weather events, and information for patients. The development of the toolbox is based on a needs assessment, with subsequent development, adaptation, implementation, and evaluation of the tools to adapt care to climate-sensitive health risks. General practitioners and specialists from the region and their patients are closely involved in the development. The project is funded for three years with a total of about 1.2 million euros.
If the tools of the Climate Toolbox prove successful, they can be transferred to other regions by means of a transfer guideline in order to contribute to the prevention and care of climate-sensitive health risks there as well. The concrete adaptation of a medical guideline on "Heat-related health disorders in family practice" based on the project is already planned.
Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig, Professur für Regionalen Klimawandel und Gesundheit, Medizinische Fakultät, Universität Augsburg
Dr. Susann Hueber (Universitätsklinikum Erlangen),
Dr. Alina Herrmann (Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg),
Dr. Veit Wambach (Gesundheitsnetz Qualität und Effizienz eG)
AOK Bayern – die Gesundheitskasse