According to data reported by the Synergy, Health and Environment Group, if the health sector were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Net emissions from healthcare represent 4.4% of global emissions fromGES.
These findings, in addition to the effects on human health from atmospheric pollution, rising temperatures and meteorological disasters, have appealed to medical and environmental organizations in Quebec.
They recently wrote a letter to the Minister of Health, Christian Dube, requesting a Ministerial Action Plan for Carbon Neutrality in the Health Network by 2040.
More than 2,340 people have already sent this letter to Minister Dube, who is also requesting resources and funds to ensure this shift towards sustainable practices is achieved.
The authors of the letter want the ministry to oversee the process through legislation and annual monitoring of the work of health and social services institutions.
Finally, the signatories believe that a research and consulting platform that brings together workers, academics, and managers will help the network better share tools, information, and progress.
Sitting at the board, Sarah Bergeron explains that writing this letter as well as launching an online petition, available until January 5 on the National Assembly’s website, resulted from awareness of the network’s impact on people’s health. For the directors of the La Planète s’vite en santé alliance.
Many health network activities are direct issuers ofGES. This is particularly the case for transportation, air conditioning, standby power systems or waste production. Medications, such as gases used in surgery or inhalers for asthmatics, are also direct sources of GES.
Sarah Bergeron emphasizes the contradiction between treating people and partly contributing to the causes of their health problems.
We know that all of this has an impact on people’s health. Thus, it is counterproductive if we decide to build new infrastructures, renovate some infrastructure or prescribe certain types of treatment that, in general, will harm people’s health., argues Dr. Bergeron.
Despite the epidemic
Although the pandemic has flooded the network, Sarah Bergeron believes the work must begin now.
The goal is really to see this globally, you say, how we can try to modernize our health network, in the context of a pandemic, in a context where health resources are really being depleted and go in that direction. ASAP, not letting things continue because our health network won’t be able to keep up if we’re not able to update all of that.
A person who lives in Matane, but is a family doctor in Nunavik, in Povernetok, believes, however, that the Minister must set clear and measurable goals and provide appropriate support.
If we add another coil on the shoulders of people who are already there, I don’t think we will succeed. People are already rowing against the tide now.
Sarah Bergeron believes that Quebec can take inspiration from the steps being taken in other countries, including Great Britain.
The British plan aims to be carbon neutral by 2040, but the British network has already been engaged in the process of reducing environmental impacts since 2008. Experience has shown that measures to reduce the network’s environmental footprint have, to a large extent, positive impacts – Brittany on the welfare of workers.
The goal, the doctor states, is to achieve a healthy environment that does not harm the health of workers or residents.
The petition has so far collected just over 3,360 signatures. Organizers hope the letter will send a total of 10,000 people to Minister Dube.
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