Nov. 3, 2021 (Ottawa) — With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) underway in Glasgow, Scotland, HealthCareCAN is urging international leaders to act now to limit global warming to 1.5°, ramp up research on the link between climate change and health of populations, and to harness the health benefits of climate action.
COVID-19 has impacted people in Canada in numerous ways, and for many this has meant changes in employment and in working conditions. At the same time, several other factors, such as climate change, are influencing which sectors and jobs will power Canada’s economy in the decades to come. All of this presents our country with an opportunity to jumpstart the transition to a knowledge-based, innovation economy that is more resilient, inclusive and green, and that will contribute to Canada’s future social and economic success
Existing research has well established the fact that the health of older adults and children are particularly impacted by climate change for a range of reasons. With concerted, global action now we can build a sustainable future, but there is no more time to wait.
Here in Canada, healthcare institutions have committed to action to reduce energy consumption and emissions. As large buildings or complexes, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – often at or above capacity – public healthcare facilities are the most energy-intensive in Canada. Each year, healthcare institutions across the country consume approximately 11 per cent of total public energy, and account collectively for more than five per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas footprint.
The federal government has rightly taken steps recently to correct the decades-long oversight of excluding healthcare institutions from receiving federal green infrastructure investment monies. If our national government wants to accelerate Canada’s response to the climate emergency and meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement, hospital and health organizations must be made key partners in the sustainable development, green infrastructure and climate change agendas.
Hospitals and health organizations are already adapting to help Canada respond to climate change by adopting greener practices. These efforts could be greatly accelerated with new federal investment to:
- Help replace Canada’s aging healthcare infrastructure.
- Grow investments in science to cover the enabling Canada’s research hospitals to generate new insights, including the health impacts of climate change.
- Invest in digital health and data platforms in Canada’s research hospitals and health organizations to improve patient care and support climate mitigation efforts.
HealthCareCAN and its member institutions are also very eager to collaborate with the federal government to advance efforts to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of the COVID pandemic. Health Canada has recently estimated that some 63,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) waste are generated each year during the COVID pandemic. With COVID likely to evolve into an endemic situation it is vital that Canada’s healthcare system also evolve to meet the sustainability challenge that will accompany this ongoing challenge.
President & CEO
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.
– 30 –
Media contact: Alexandria Rowe, Communications and Member Services Specialist
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 ext. 221 │ Cell: 613-220-1023
December 16, 2021 (Ottawa) – HealthCareCAN was heartened to see the Chief Public Health Officer’s annual report released this week echo our call for a strong, collaborative and pan-Canadian approach to strengthening Canada’s health system to meet future challenges. For our health system to emerge stronger post-pandemic, including being better prepared and coordinated as a
December 14, 2021 (Ottawa) – Today’s federal fiscal update delivered by Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland provided welcome funding for measures to support Canada’s fight against COVID-19. The federal government is rightly focusing on the threat posed by the Omicron variant in this latest fiscal update, directing additional funding toward the tools
December 1, 2021 –Digital Health Week (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2021), which is now underway, is the perfect opportunity for Canada’s health system to celebrate advances in digital health, while keeping up momentum to deliver health care faster and more efficiently. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of virtual care and Canadians both appreciate