A DANGEROUS combination of rising power prices and high temperatures has health professionals from across the region concerned that the shire faces a potential public health crisis this summer.
GPs and health representatives from across the Shire of Strathbogie met with Damian Drum (MHR, Murray) to discuss their fear that a heatwave could result in a spate of hospitalisations, even deaths, if people refuse to turn on air conditioning due to high power prices.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting hotter than average temperatures this summer, with protracted periods of daytime temperatures above 35 degrees.
There is consensus among the health fraternity that older residents, from a generation used to austerity and to getting through tough conditions ‘without making a fuss’, are likely to risk the high temperatures and put themselves in serious danger in favour of not using power.
It is a concern Member for Euroa, Steph Ryan, shares.
“If you’re living on a pension and you’re facing rising energy bills, it’s going to make you think twice before spending money on air conditioning.