On January 17, 2017, as Chinese new year is approaching, an “International Symposium on Developing Green Health Care System and Facilitating the Implementation of Healthy China Strategy” was held in Beijing, China by the China National Health Development Research Center (NHDRC), which showcased a multilateral and cross-sector dedication to green health care system development in China. Health leaders from China, the U.S, Korea and UK got together to share research and practical experience on green hospitals and health management. As a milestone of the three parties’ cooperation, NHDRC, HCWH and SDU International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an International Collaboration to build a green health care system in China at the conference.
Since 2015, NHDRC has been conducting a project entitled “Strategic Research on the Construction and Development of Green Heath and Care System” in partnership with the British Embassy’s China Prosperity Fund, England’s Sustainable Development Unit for the health and care sector and HCWH. The project aims to establishing China’s green health care system framework and laying the groundwork for piloting and scaling up this approach. On the basis of previous cooperation, the three parties signed a long-term cooperation plan from 2016 to 2021, continuously promoting the development of China’s green health care system through activities such as research, piloting and exchanging.
In addition to presentations from HCWH and SDU International, representatives of GGHH members, Kaiser Permanente (USA), Yonsei University Health System (South Korea) and Gundersen Health System (USA) were invited to present at the conference, sharing experience on integrating sustainability into hospital and health management. Leaders from China National Health and Family Planning Commission and local health departments have also introduced China’s policies and practices on green health care development. The conference not only brought together leaders in the field of health, but also invited leaders and experts from Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Environmental Protection, to introduce international climate change negotiations and China’s low-carbon development strategy, as well as China’s environmental health problems and countermeasures.
Sonia Roschnik, Sustainable Development Unit of NHS England and Public Health, United Kingdom; Fu Wei, Director of NHDRC, China; and Josh Karliner, International Director of Program and Strategy, Health Care Without Harm signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an International Collaboration to build a green health care system in China at the conference. For more photos of the event, visit the image gallery.
Environment is a key health influencing factor and health sector will benefit from the collaboration and integration of its core function with sustainable environmental development. Health sector can contribute to this integration by reducing its environmental impacts and stimulating green transformation of its upstream industries. Building green and sustainable health care system will also bring important opportunities for China to cope with climate change, and contribute to the realization of a number of sustainable development goals.
“A green health care system should recognize the connection between human health and environment, and demonstrate that understanding through its governance, strategy and operations.” said by Josh Karliner, International Director of Program and Strategy, Health Care Without Harm. FU Wei, Director of NHDRC said, “The development of health care system should be compatible with social environment and development goals. Green and sustainable health care system is an indispensable element for the construction of Healthy China”.
The conference provided an opportunity for summarizing the previous efforts and achievements. It also marks the start of a new step for the partnership of NHDRC, HCWH and SDU International. The three parties have begun to develop the details of their strategic plan, and are expecting a robust implementation in the year of the rooster.