NewsPioneers drive sustainability in healthcare at Arab Health 2024

Pioneers drive sustainability in healthcare at Arab Health 2024


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Dubai, UAE – The Smart Hospital and Interoperability Zone at Arab Health 2024 recently hosted a high-profile panel discussion addressing the critical topic of environmental sustainability in healthcare across the Middle East. This significant session convened industry leaders and experts to deliberate on strategies for seamlessly integrating sustainability into the region’s healthcare systems.

In 2023, the Department of Health — Abu Dhabi, the regulatory authority for healthcare in the emirate, unveiled ambitious healthcare sustainability goals. These objectives aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The initiative seeks to establish a definitive roadmap for sustainable healthcare progress, fostering alignment across the entire ecosystem.

Jacqui Rock, Chief Commercial Officer of the National Health Service England, highlighted the importance of collaboration with innovative suppliers in advancing sustainability goals. “It is about working hand in hand with innovative suppliers and embracing the phenomenal medtech out there. While the new technology coming out is mind-blowing, we must always ask how this technology will affect sustainability and the greener agenda. This is something in the NHS we are pushing hard for,” she emphasized during the session.

Con McGarry, Senior Consultant at Arcadia Health, emphasized the necessity to make the case for sustainability in healthcare more visible. “How do you demonstrate to people that the actions they are putting in have a visible impact? We should be collecting all the data into a central performance management system to enable meaningful conversations about what we are doing and whether we are doing it correctly and taking the correct actions,” he added.

Richard Cantlay, Global Healthcare Leader at Mott MacDonald, underscored the urgent need to break the cycle in healthcare. “This is a cycle that needs to be broken. When you stand back and think about the narrative, which is that health systems are leading to climate change, which is giving people poor health, which is, in turn, increasing demand — it is obvious that healthcare systems need to deal with the issue of sustainability,” he urged.

To contribute to sustainability efforts, the organizers of Arab Health, Informa Markets, implemented several eco-friendly practices during the exhibition, including the use of renewable electricity to significantly decrease the event’s carbon footprint. Initiatives like endorsing public transportation through marketing channels and implementing digital solutions such as digital badges and paperless registration were introduced to minimize material waste. The Better Stands program incentivized exhibitors and partners to embrace reusable stand structures.

Arab Health 2024, which concluded on Feb. 1 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, not only showcased groundbreaking technologies at the Smart Hospital and Interoperability Zone but also emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability in shaping the future of healthcare in the Middle East. Partnering with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the zone featured four demonstration rooms spotlighting advancements in labor and delivery, intensive care, and more.

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