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What is healthcare doing?

Natalia video and BMJ LMIC article

In the video we will hear from Natalia Kurek. She is the Deputy Director of A Greener NHS. She will describe the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) National Health Service (NHS) green strategy.

What is the green plan for the NHS?

  • On 1 July 2022, the NHS became the first health system to embed net zero into legislation, through the Health and Care Act 2022. The Act requires commissioners and providers of NHS services specifically to address the net zero emissions targets
  • Net zero by 2045 for the NHS Carbon Footprint ‘Plus’, with an ambition for an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039.

This guidance explains how NHS organisations should construct their Green Plans, the areas and initiatives that the plans should cover, and signposts to supporting resources.

Below you will be able to find out more about the green strategy for the UK and NHS:

The most rational and cost effective way to achieve universal access and reduce emissions is to invest in keeping people healthy… This principle, central to universal health coverage, would yield all-round gains for patients, the planet, and healthcare costs

——— Decarbonising healthcare in low and middle income countries (LMIC): potential pathways to net zero emissions

In 2021 the BMJ published Decarbonising healthcare in low and middle income countries: potential pathways to net zero emissions.

  • They noted that the focus was often on reducing emissions in high income countries (HICs) and adaptation in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
  • Few LMICs are included in studies on carbon emissions from healthcare.
  • However, healthcare in LMICs is a carbon intensive activity and likely to grow with the delivery of commitments to universal health coverage (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.8)

They concluded that:

The abilities of health workers in LMICs to innovate, build strategic south-south alliances, and secure the necessary political buy-in should not be underestimated. With effective leadership, coordination, and financing, charting a plan for health sector decarbonisation in LMICs is eminently feasible.

Image of from “Decarbonising healthcare in low and middle income countries: potential pathways to net zero emissions”

Examples of global decarbonisation projects:

  • Valle del Lili Foundation University Hospital in Colombia established a sustainable purchasing programme with the help of the Healthcare Without Harm Sustainable Procurement in Health Care Guide
  • India has committed $1.4bn towards electrifying the transportation sector. This will improve urban pollution significantly.
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How to Drive Sustainable Healthcare: Educate, Engage, and Empower

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