How can the EU unlock the potential of sustainable healthcare?

Healthcare won’t be the primary business that springs to thoughts when you think about the causes of the local weather disaster. However with materials extraction, provide, and the manufacture of apparatus accounting for 40 to 50 per cent of world CO2 emissions, waste throughout the medical business is taking part in a major position in driving greenhouse fuel emissions (GHGs).

If the world is to satisfy the targets set out within the Paris Settlement, the healtcare sector must transition to a round economic system. This implies discovering new and sustainable methods to make use of assets to convey concerning the decarbonisation of the business.

Many options exist already to shut the loop and make healthcare a extra round economic system, with multinationals like Philips working arduous to supply revolutionary options akin to tools recycling.

The European Union is main the best way too, with a number of initiatives following on the backs of the European Inexperienced Deal and the Round Financial system Motion Plan (CEAP).

However with healthcare funding in Europe already stretched, can the EU transition to a round economic system with out compromising on high quality and affected person security?

And as we transfer in the direction of a extra digital future, may cash and assets be saved by making healthcare extra digital?

To debate all these points and extra, be part of the Euronews Debate staff stay on June twenty ninth at 11 am (CEST) as we talk about these questions with our skilled panel.

Meet our panel

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director in control of the Round Financial system within the European Fee’s DG ENV

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea is the Director in control of the Round Financial system within the European Fee’s Directorate-Normal for Atmosphere.

Between 2014 and 2022 he labored because the Director in control of Enforcement, Cohesion and the European Semester in the identical DG. Previous to that, he was the Director for Equality within the Directorate-Normal for Justice, in control of equality and the combat in opposition to discrimination. He joined the European Fee in 2009.

Robert Metzke, SVP and World Head of Sustainability at Philips

Robert Metzke leads Philips’ actions in sustainability and drives the corporate’s technique in the direction of innovation. He implements sustainable enterprise fashions and embeds sustainable and round methods of working throughout Philips.

Robert and his staff lead all actions with regard to Philips’ environmental accountability, with a give attention to local weather motion, round economic system and increasing entry to healthcare in underserved communities, as a part of Philips’ total function to enhance folks’s well being and well-being.

MEP Sara Cerdas

Sara Cerdas is a Portuguese medical physician and a Member of the European Parliament. She is a member of the Committee on the Atmosphere, Public Well being and Meals Security (ENVI), the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and S&D coordinator of the Particular Committee on COVID-19 (COVI) and the Sub-Committee on Public Well being (SANT).

Cerdas was additionally vice-president of the Particular Committee on Beating Most cancers (BECA). At present, MEP Cerdas is shadow rapporteur of the proposal for Regulation for the European Well being Knowledge House.

Frédéric Rimattei, Deputy Director Normal at Rennes College Hospital Heart

After holding numerous administration positions in main college hospitals in France (Montpellier, Toulouse), Frédéric Rimattei was appointed Deputy Director Normal of the Rennes College Hospital in 2015. On this capability, he supervises the implementation of the CHU’s analysis and innovation coverage in addition to sustainability, in shut collaboration with the entire institution’s scientific, educational and industrial companions.

A serious focus of the CHU’s analysis and innovation technique, well being applied sciences and sustainability are on the coronary heart of the appreciable investments made by the CHU, specifically throughout the framework of the #NouveauCHUdeRennes undertaking.

Jeremy Wilks, Euronews Reporter and debate moderator

Euronews science reporter Jeremy Wilks covers every little thing from local weather change to healthcare innovation. He has reported on science analysis, innovation and digital expertise throughout Europe for over a decade. He repeatedly hosts stay debates each on Euronews digital platforms and at giant convention occasions. Jeremy is the presenter of the month-to-month Local weather Now collection on Euronews.

If you need to submit a query for our panel please use the shape beneath:

How a lot waste is generated by the healthcare sector within the EU?

Based on the World Well being Organisation (WHO), round 85 per cent of all waste generated by healthcare actions globally is non-hazardous. This leaves 15 per of waste which is taken into account hazardous to human well being, as a result of it’s both infectious, poisonous or radioactive.

Whereas many healthcare merchandise, akin to needles, bandages and different forms of scientific waste can’t be reused, many gadgets of digital tools can, and because of advances in expertise, the lifecycles of apparatus and put in programs will be prolonged too. Refurbishment is commonly essentially the most sustainable method to improve and prolong the lifecycle of merchandise, however as expertise advances, new merchandise are generally wanted.

Buying eco-designed merchandise can be a good way for healthcare corporations to chop their carbon footprint, as they’re usually extra power and useful resource environment friendly and have been designed in order that they are often repaired as a substitute of changed.

Are healthcare merchandise recyclable?

When merchandise have reached the tip of their life, accountable recycling is one of the simplest ways to cut back their impression.

The Waste Electrical and Digital Tools Directive (WEEE Directive) launched by the EU in 2003, states that the unique producer has accountability for recycling. The Particular person Producer Accountability (IPR) locations end-of-life accountability on producers, importers and model house owners, to make sure that product waste is recovered and reused.

Whereas many manufacturers are on board with a round economic system, extra innovation is required to forestall waste throughout the lifecycle of digital merchandise. The StEP Initiative (Fixing the E-waste Drawback) based in 2003, with members together with Philips and Microsoft, goals to standardise the recycling course of, in order that beneficial parts will be simply faraway from waste merchandise.

Many healthcare merchandise additionally include recycling passports, in order that they are often disassembled and recycled safely and appropriately. That is significantly vital with merchandise which will comprise hazardous supplies or beneficial parts that may be reused.

Is digitisation the way forward for healthcare?

Whereas costly medical tools will at all times have its place within the healthcare sector, rising digitisation may additionally scale back the carbon footprint of drugs and make it extra sustainable.

Digital assets, digital instruments and software program may additionally allow healthcare settings to ‘dematerialize’ too. Improvements akin to telehealth, the place sufferers have digital conferences with docs will lower down on CO2 emissions from journey, whereas cloud-based companies and efficiency-enhancing software program may scale back CO2 emissions from computing and knowledge storage.

Whereas expertise and recycling strategies are bettering, with so many issues to unravel, from funding crises to an ageing inhabitants, can healthcare develop into extra sustainable with out lowering high quality and security? Be a part of us on June twenty ninth at 11 am (CEST) to seek out out what are our consultants suppose.

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