Practicing sustainable healthcare
We’ve seen that anthropogenic climate change threatens to roll back life expectancy and public health. And it turns out that the health sector is a major contributor to the problem! For example, in the European Union, the health system produces 5 per cent of total CO2 emissions, along with vast amounts of waste.
However, powerful synergies exist between practices that promote environmental sustainability and those that promote health. Reducing carbon emissions in the health sector will help to reduce the severity of climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a low-carbon society will bring substantial health benefits everywhere, including in industrialized countries. The greatest health benefits will accrue from early, rather than delayed, carbon reduction measures.
Practicing clinical medicine in a sustainable way requires creativity. This includes judicious prescribing, effective use of medical technologies, and patient self-care. Sustainable healthcare can also reduce the escalating rates of long-term conditions, improve the quality of care, and save money.
These three videos highlight approaches that are a ‘win-win’ for both health and the environment, and how more effective prevention, management and treatment services can prevent extreme climate change and protect health globally and locally.
If you work in a clinical setting you may be interested to watch one or all of them.
Otherwise you are welcome to skip to the next page.
The Divest Health video is on the next step.
For suggestions for further reading, please see the ‘See Also’ section at the end of this page.