Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ’s health sector asks Government for urgent climate action

Health workers delivered a strong message to the Coalition Government at the National Forum on Sustainable Healthcare today. They are asking for urgent policy to ensure that District Health Boards (DHBs) and the wider health sector are held accountable for their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental footprint.

An open letter to the Ministers of Health and Climate Change was presented. Signed by over 900 New Zealand (NZ) healthcare workers wanting change, the message to the Government is that the health sector is ready to lead NZ to a sustainable and healthy future.

The letter was presented to Hon Julie Anne Genter, Associate Minister of Health with the portfolio for climate change and health, asking for:

1. The Ministry of Health to set GHG emissions reduction targets for DHBs in line with commitments under the Paris Agreement.

2. The Ministry of Health to mandate all DHBs to measure, manage, and reduce their GHG emissions in accordance with the ISO 14064 standard.

3. DHBs to report progress towards GHG emissions reduction to the Ministry of Health annually.

“Health systems in developed countries have very large environmental and climate footprints,” says Dr David Galler, an Intensive Care Specialist and member of the Sustainable Health Sector National Network (SHSNN). Estimates show health systems produce 3-10% of a country’s total GHGs.

SHSNN members say a Sustainability Manager in every DHB is necessary, and the establishment of a national unit is needed for overall coordination. The National Health System (NHS) in England established a Sustainable Development Unit in 2008, funded by and accountable to the NHS.

Benefits of a sustainable health sector are significant and include cost savings, quality improvements, and boosting community wellbeing. For example, Counties Manukau DHB have reduced GHG emissions by over 20% since 2012 and saved more than $500,000 as a direct result.

“This Government is signalling that the health sector needs to change, but we need higher expectations and accountability. We still have hospitals that are burning coal as an energy source,” says Dr Galler.

“The Government needs to provide the budget and support for DHBs to change how they operate for the long-term good of the sector and people’s health”

The National Forum looked at green hospital and healthcare buildings, sustainable supply chains, and the implications of the upcoming Zero Carbon Bill for the health sector. It also discussed how health sector environmental sustainability can add health and social value to local communities.

Co-hosted by OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council and the SHSNN, the Forum was opened by the Director-General of Health, followed by international and NZ experts on sustainability and healthcare.

Dr Rhys Jones, co-convenor of OraTaiao, says the Forum has laid down the challenge by showing that NZ’s health sector can lead environmental sustainability and create the conditions for all New Zealanders to be healthy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rationing Of PPE Gear, Masks And Everything Else

From the outset, the perceived need to ration our scarce resources seems to have driven the response to Covid-19. Rationing still appears to be limiting the ability of nurses and other frontline workers to access and routinely wear the PPE gear they need to do their job safely. Initially at least, we were also rationing the public’s access to Covid-19 testing. We also continue to pick and choose among the scientific evidence to justify advising the public against the need for them to wear masks…. If it hasn’t done so already, this trend will end up eroding public confidence in the Ministry of Heath assurances that hey don’t worry people, we have enough PPE gear, testing kits and masks to go around. Counter factual : if we’re rationing it, we haven’t got enough... More>>


 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels