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Sustainability spotlight

5 actionable ways to advance environment-friendly healthcare

Article-5 actionable ways to advance environment-friendly healthcare

Image via Canva Pro sustainable health
The MENA region is taking several steps towards making hospitals more sustainable and energy efficient.

Considering much of the Middle East is water-scarce and power deficient, it is essential to find ways to keep hospitals green. In line with that, there has been a general thrust in the MENA region toward making hospitals more sustainable and energy efficient 

The idea is so pressing that Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffer, the Egyptian Minister of Health and Population, announced in 2022 that Egypt would promote hospitals that rely on clean and renewable energy. He also noted that it is equally vital to encourage green facilities and find ways to reduce and recycle medical waste.  

On a similar note, Dubai, which hosted the 45th World Hospital Federation’s World Hospital Congress, urged Arab and other countries to adopt the Green Hospital concept and provide quality healthcare without harming the environment or the health worker. 

Environment-friendly healthcare is clearly the best way ahead. Here are some actionable ways to advance environment-friendly healthcare in the Middle East.  

Related: The importance of accessible and sustainable healthcare

Use LED lights to reduce energy consumption 

Adequate and appropriate lighting is necessary at hospital premises to ensure staff productivity, perform procedures accurately, and create an aesthetic atmosphere. LED lights are energy efficient and contribute significantly towards keeping a hospital building green. Green buildings use 25 to 35 percent less energy than traditional buildings.  


Invest in energy-efficient healthcare infrastructure 

Several energy-efficient healthcare devices and medical equipment have entered the market. Slowly transitioning from conventional medical infrastructure to energy-efficient medical infrastructure can help hospitals significantly reduce their carbon footprint and implement a Green Hospital policy.  


Reduce and recycle medical waste 

Hospitals produce enormous amounts of medical waste that often gets disposed of in landfills. These can cause health hazards as well. There are ways to reuse medical waste, by recycling plastic and paper waste. It makes sense for hospitals to tie up with companies that specialise in recycling hazardous material. In addition, instead of incinerating particular medical waste, they can be steam-sterilised.  

Related: Four steps to enhance sustainable procurement in healthcare

Reduce water consumption 

Wastewater from hospitals can easily be recycled and used to flush toilets. Recycled water can also be used in gardening and landscaping. In addition, staff and patients can be educated to use water judiciously so that potable water is well-spent, especially considering how scarce water is in the Middle East.  


Adopting sustainable technology 

Sustainable technology includes not only hardware such as solar panels and recycling units but also software programmes that provide accurate insights regarding energy consumption, recycling waste, and identifying power-draining equipment. Tools such as Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) and IoT-enabled enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions can identify underperforming medical equipment so they can be replaced with sustainable alternatives. In addition, they also help make regular energy compliance reports to support Green Hospital initiatives.  


Adopting the Green Hospital concept is essential for sustainable development 

Indeed, there are several ways to go green in a hospital environment. Adopting the Green Hospital concept as a policy will help medical facilities across the Middle East to choose a more sustainable way of operating and providing healthcare.  


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