Bushfires drive mental, respiratory health increases: report

25 November 2020

Few Australians have been untouched by the devastation caused by the 2019-2020 bushfires.

Thirty-three people lost their lives as a direct result of the fires, more than 3,000 homes were destroyed, around 17 million hectares were burned across six states and territories, and experts have estimated that this charred land would have been home to three billion native vertebrates.

This week an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report found a significant uptake of bush-fire related mental health services, a surge in emergency presentations for respiratory problems (in NSW), and a spike in the dispensing of asthma medications.

The Australian bushfires 2019–20 Exploring the short-term health impacts report examined the short-term health impacts of the bushfire crisis, covering the period from September 2019 to March 2020.

Read the full article on the Croakey website, featuring research by The Australian National University