In simple terms, sustainable healthcare is centered around practices that effectively meet the current needs of patients, while safeguarding resources for future generations. It involves responsible environmental practices, efficient resource utilization, and community well-being. The emphasis on sustainable healthcare has grown over the recent past as organizations recognize that it's not just about ecological considerations; but also, about ensuring equitable access to care, fostering innovation, and prioritizing the overall well-being of patients and healthcare professionals alike. The transition towards sustainability aligns with a broader commitment to creating a healthcare system that benefits all stakeholders in the long run.
Health is a focal point of discussions at the COP28 conference because climate crisis is undeniably a significant health threat. The constantly evolving climate poses risks such as extreme weather conditions, heat waves, spread of infectious diseases, all of which can have profound implications on public health.
Several measures are undertaken by organizations globally to combat these challenges and healthcare as an industry is a key player in causing climate change given the carbon emissions, we as an industry are responsible for.
Recognizing our responsibility, healthcare industries are making significant strides in reducing the carbon footprint, through adopting sustainable practices across the organization, increasing energy efficiency through reduced water and electricity consumption, sustainable infrastructure, usage of sustainably resourced material, transitioning to renewable energy sources etc.
There are many essential measures healthcare organizations can take to safeguard the well-being of individuals whilst contributing to the broader health of our planet. At FUH we have implemented several sustainable initiatives at all operational levels. By combining innovative healthcare practices with a sustainable approach, we aim to build an environmentally conscious healthcare system for the benefit of our community and future generations.
Fakeeh University Hospital spearheads a holistic sustainability model, integrating environmental responsibility, ethical governance, and community engagement. As a leading tertiary care university hospital, we strive to provide medical care of the highest quality while remaining committed to the UAE’s Green Agenda.
Our commitment to sustainability aligns seamlessly with our mission to heal, nurture, and create a healthier world. We recognize that our responsibility as a healthcare leader extends beyond the confines of our facility. Our sustainability policies are tailored for healthcare that aligns with the nation’s sustainability vision. To name a few;
Sustainability of us at FUH is a continuous journey, we can continue to raise the bar and set new standards for excellence in healthcare and environmental leadership.
Certainly, at Fakeeh University Hospital, we have implemented sustainability initiatives like Green Anesthesia and Green Lab that are environmentally sound. These initiatives have the potential for positive change across the healthcare industry and set precedence for a greener and more sustainable future.
Green Anesthesia techniques reduce the environmental impact of anesthesia procedures by adopting sustainable practices and using eco-friendly materials. It focuses on low-flow techniques, actively minimizing oxygen consumption, and employing closed circuits for pollution control. The goal is to minimize waste, energy consumption and carbon footprint.
In our Green Lab initiative, we're making strides towards eco-friendly practices by transitioning to recyclable lab consumables, implementing processes to optimize resource utilization, and utilizing automated technologies for streamlined lab processes. Additionally, we're adopting precision medicine approaches in our lab practices, tailoring blood transfusions to individual patients’ needs to reduce unnecessary transfusions and minimize waste.
These initiatives align with our commitment to sustainability, aimed to provide excellent patient care but to do so in a way that minimizes negative environmental impact. We believe that by leading in these areas, we can set an example for our peers in the healthcare industry to adopt similar practices and collectively contribute to a more sustainable and responsible healthcare sector.
I believe there are several key avenues through which the healthcare industry can lead the way in promoting healthcare sustainability. First and foremost, it's crucial to imbibe within the organization a culture for sustainable practices. This then needs to be followed through with investment in environmentally friendly practices within the facility. This includes implementing energy-efficient technologies, efficient waste reducing practices, and adopting sustainable supply chain practices. Effective adoption and use of technology also aids in sustainability as technology streamlines processes – be it medical or operational.
Fostering a culture of awareness and education among healthcare professionals and consumers is vital. By promoting understanding and commitment to sustainable practices, we can inspire a collective effort within the industry.
Additionally, collaboration and knowledge-sharing are instrumental. By actively engaging with other healthcare leaders and organizations, we can share best practices, lessons learned, and innovative solutions. This collaborative approach can create a ripple effect, encouraging more institutions to adopt sustainable practices.
Finally, advocating for policies that support sustainability in healthcare at a broader level is essential. Engaging with policymakers to influence regulations and incentives that promote environmentally conscious practices can create a conducive environment for industry-wide change. Its always a combined effort, but its important to understand that collectively we can be leaders of change in the industry.
Watch here, Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany, Chief Executive Officer’s interview with Dubai TV discussing the importance of healthcare sustainability and sustainability initiatives at FUH.