9/2A Walker St, Bowral NSW 2576

Walker Street General Practice

Excellence in Clinical Care & Personable Connections

Potential health impacts from the Australian bushfire crisis

The fallout from the ongoing bushfire crisis being witnessed across our country will be devastating. Not only to our wildlife and to our economy but also, potentially, to our health.

According to The Lancet Planetary Health, “bushfire smoke has been related to increased risks of hospitalisation and emergency department visits due to respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and respiratory infections”.

In other words, excess smoke inhalation can be very dangerous and even deadly.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to wear a facemask and stay indoors. However, these are only temporary precautions and the best way to avoid these impacts is to remove yourself from the area as soon as possible.

Of course, sometimes this is unavoidable (whether your home is in the affected area or if you need to help those who are). Unfortunately, there is no real way to reduce the effects of bushfire smoke on human health – so please do take the above precautions if you can.

When you have a spare 30 minutes, please come and see us for a Comprehensive Health Check. This service is totally tailored to you and your needs so if you have been in the vicinity of the bushfires in NSW, we will conduct a physical examination to determine any post-event trauma and to help you manage any impacts moving forward.

In saying that, it’s not just our physical health that may suffer. Our mental health should also be considered.

Sadness, anger, frustration, exasperation, fear. These are all feelings that we may experience at some point during, or after, the crisis. These feelings, when experienced for an ongoing duration, could lead to more serious mental concerns including depression and anxiety.

It’s important to deal with these issues head on and the first step in doing so is to acknowledge that they exist – and to ask for help.

We here at Walker Street General Practice are highly experienced in managing mental health. Where necessary, our doctors liaise with psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health providers in the community to optimise your care.

As an Aussie small business, we are doing what we can to help our local community.

We are collecting donations in our reception area to donate towards Wattle Creek Fire Relief so please spare any change you can next time you are in for a visit. After all, every little counts.

We are also proud to team up with Backpacks for Bushfires NSW to be a drop off point for the incredible company. Please drop off any backpacks, pencil cases, stationary, drink bottles or other school supplies that could be used by a child in need. You can find out more about this initiative over at www.instagram.com/backpacks_for_bushfires_nsw/.

Stay strong, Australia! We’re here to help so just pick up the phone and give us a call on 02 4861 3855. No query is too big or too small in these trying times.