You heard Attenborough – it’s time to for us to be more sustainable. The global healthcare sector makes up 4.4 per cent of net greenhouse gas emissions – to put that into perspective, the global aviation industry produces around two to three per cent of net greenhouse gas emissions (as detailed by the Air Transport Action Group). No more, says the World Health Organization (WHO), which is now launching its guidance for climate resilient and environmentally sustainable healthcare facilities.
The WHO guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities sets out to protect and improve the health of their target communities in an unstable and changing climate; and to empower healthcare facilities to be environmentally sustainable, by optimising the use of resources and minimising the release of waste into the environment, a press release from WHO states.
Cost containment and sustainability go hand in hand
WHO recommends intervention in four key areas in order to provide safe and quality care in the context of climate change:
- the health workforce;
- water, sanitation, hygiene and health care waste management;
- sustainable energy services; and
- infrastructure, technologies and products.
“Climate resilient and environmentally sustainable healthcare facilities contribute to high quality of care and accessibility of services, and by helping reduce facility costs also ensure better affordability. They are, therefore, an important component of universal health coverage (UHC),” said WHO.
WHO is providing two preliminary webinars that will give an overview of the new WHO guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities.