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Regional study heats up

Thursday March 21, 2013 - 12:40 EDT

It is hoped a study being done by the University of Adelaide on the impacts of extreme heat on regional communities will help to form future government policies.

The two-year study, headed by public health researcher Sue Williams, is about halfway through and includes responses from residents, councils and health service providers across South Australia.

Dr Williams says she is focusing on the impacts of hot weather on individuals as well as on a whole community.

"It may be that there's recognition that during summer, if there is going to be an increase in demand on health services, then that might have to be considered in workforce planning, particularly in an area perhaps where the population swells during summer because of an influx of tourists," she said.

Dr Williams says people have discussed the effect on local economies through loss of visitors, as well as social effects on the community as a whole.

"They've described an impact on community wellbeing because of the restrictions to community and sporting events and daily activities during heatwaves and heat tends to impose a level of social isolation on the residents," she said.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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