News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Sustainable DHBs good for health too

Sustainable DHBs good for health too

DHBs in the South Island are working together to address climate change and promote environmental sustainability to improve the health of current and future populations.

The effects and reality of Climate Change have been highlighted by the definitive reports recently released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and by activities happening this annual Earth Day (April 22).

The Public Health Partnership (PHP), one of many work streams in an Alliance of South Island DHBs working toward improved South Island population health, has formed a workgroup to support DHBs to actively address sustainability in the delivery of DHB services.

Medical Officer of Health at Public Health South, and member of the new sustainability workgroup, Dr Derek Bell said that although the links between environment and health have long been acknowledged, the health sector increasingly understands the relationship between climate and health.

“Climate change is recognised as one of the most important emerging threats to public health. Examples of associated health effects include those arising from extreme weather events, increased vector-borne diseases, food and water shortages, displaced populations.”

“Mitigating environmental causes of illness and maintaining wellbeing is one of the health sector’s most important preventative measures. Sustainable delivery of health services, to maximise dollars and resources, are important too.”

“DHBs are major infrastructural organisations with large carbon footprints. If we are not able to prioritise environmental sustainability, we will incur massive health, environmental and financial costs downstream,” he said.

Characteristic to the South Island Alliance’s ‘whole-of-system’ approach, the Partnership’s work aligns with another work stream, Support Services, which is guiding regional efficiencies and sustainability in laundering and linen usage, food services, procurement, facilities management and engineering, waste and energy.

In SDHB and NMDHB, for example, linen usage principles have been adopted by the DHB’s support services so that linen and laundering are more efficient and use less water and power.
In Canterbury DHB, a sustainability officer is in the process of being recruited, the fourth DHB in New Zealand to make such an appointment.

Dr Bell points to the UK, where a national sustainable approach to health is progressing well.

”While New Zealand has an opportunity to learn from healthcare sustainability initiatives overseas, closer to home Counties Manukau DHB are leading the way nationally with their Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme (greenhouse gas emissions reduction) accreditation.

“This shows that our New Zealand healthcare system can show leadership and make a real difference by responding to and mitigating the very real threats to health of climate change.”


Ends
Additional quotes, sources:
1. The NZ College of PH and NZMA Position statements and the ASMS remit “That the Association urges immediate action by government to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change on the health of New Zealanders by ensuring that government policies and actions support environmentally sustainable practices.”
2. The latest IPCC reports and news release on climate mitigation can be found herehttp://ipcc.ch/news_and_events/press_information.shtml.
3. Four-page feature on NHS greening medicine article available
4. Health Sector in NZ are doing it: - Waitemata DHB Sustainability officer “Health board leads way in eco-savings” through active transport, waste , energy, procurement; Counties Manukau DHB carbon emissions reduction (CEMARS); Nelson Marlborough DHB sustainability policy; GP Greening Your Practice toolkit; BUPA waste reduction strategies; Christchurch Hospital rebuild’s sustainable design features.
5. For more info about CEMARS certification, see: https://www.carbonzero.co.nz/cemars/).
6. In 2013, UK emissions covered by the Kyoto Protocol were provisionally estimated to be 569.9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) (Dept of Energy and climate change), while over 2008-2012 in New Zealand, total emissions were 372.8 Mt CO2-e (Ministry of Environment), both at the top end of per capita emitters worldwide.


About the South Island Alliance
The South Island Alliance is the collaboration of the five DHBs to develop more innovative, sustainable and efficient health services, than could be achieved independently, to provide South Islanders equitable and timely access to safe, effective, high-quality services, as close to their homes as possible.
Priority areas have been identified, focusing on the health of children, older persons, mental health, support services, information services, sector training, quality and safety, cancer, public health, emergency planning, elective, stroke and cardiac services.
These work streams are steered and chaired by members of the DHBs and related sector organisation members, providing a truly representational leadership.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. Review by Marlene Ware. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news