In conjunction with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, revealed Abu Dhabi’s healthcare sustainability goals.
The goals aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent in 2030 and Net Zero by 2050. Through these goals, DoH seeks to set a roadmap for the Emirate’s healthcare sustainability progress and accelerate alignment across the ecosystem.
Segmented into long- and short-term goals, DoH’s healthcare sustainability agenda focuses on three key pillars including infrastructure, operations, and healthcare waste. With focus on infrastructure, DoH will work closely with healthcare facilities in an effort to enable the sector to implement green building methodologies by using sustainable, recyclable and natural materials in hospital construction and maintenance, while transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources.
Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Under-Secretary of DoH, said, “DoH continues to lead the sector’s sustainability agenda through ensuring the availability of a solid roadmap and to equip the healthcare ecosystem with the means to achieve sustainable operations. The sustainability goals announced today seek to set the stage for strategic targets that will help us create a better future for generations to come, as well as ensure a future-proof healthcare ecosystem in the Emirate. Reflecting Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare, we remain committed to ensuring the availability of a conscious and innovative operations across all levels.”
The Department will support the healthcare sector in leading sustainable operations related to chemicals food, procurement, transportation, and water, as well as promote and support nutritious and sustainable food systems that are locally produced.
With a global focus on waste management, and through its newly set guidelines, DoH aims to enable healthcare facilities to decrease, treat and safely dispose healthcare waste.
Hind Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Healthcare Facilities at DoH, stated, “The announcement of the healthcare ecosystem’s sustainability goals will allow us to establish a solid governance model for Green Hospitals across the Emirate, over the next few years. We are working with our partners across the sector to develop Abu Dhabi-specific accreditation and labelling for Green Hospitals. Additionally, and to ensure a seamless application of these guidelines and fuel healthy competition across the sector, a new sustainability index “Emirald Muashir” will be added to “Muashir”, the Emirate’s healthcare quality index. Following the launch of “Emirald Muashir” healthcare facilities will be granted specific accreditations that showcase their levels of adaptation to the sustainability goals and guidelines.”
In the short term and over the next year, the Department will equip the sector with the required training to learn and delve deeper in the field of sustainability through providing access to international networks such as the International Hospital Federation and Global Green and Healthy Hospitals. Simultaneously, DoH aims to expand collaborations and partnerships with leading international organisations to exchange knowledge and expertise in the field of sustainability.
DoH has recently launched the “Part S-Sustainability Guidelines” on the Stem website, which seeks to provide guidance and support the healthcare sector achieve their sustainability targets, contributing towards environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure in the Emirate. These measures compliment all pre-existing requirements of the DoH Health Facility Guidelines, as it has three major levels; the first of which will be implemented as mandatory for all healthcare facilities, both new and existing.
Additionally, DoH will work closely with the wider healthcare ecosystem to revaluate prescription practices and apply efficient means of pharmaceutical waste management in the Emirate. Furthermore, the ecosystem is encouraged to utilise more environmental-friendly transportation across the sector and reduce water consumption.