Leadership and Advocacy in Action: Towards a Sustainable, Resilient and Climate-smart Philippine healthcare
Early of 2021, the Philippines along with the rest of the world was shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the health system was greatly challenged. Many environmental health issues relating to the health sector, including its generation of waste and use of toxic chemicals, came to the fore. Recently, a series of strong typhoons slammed the country and devastated many communities and infrastructure including health facilities such as hospitals and treatment and rehabilitation centers. The vulnerability of our health system to emergencies and disasters was again highlighted. The impacts of climate change are continuously being felt in the country and the health sector around the world is still one of the biggest contributors of carbon emission. With all these happening, it has become more imperative than ever to have strong leadership commitment from the health sector at all levels, from policy makers, system leaders, and hospital management to healthcare professionals, patients, and individuals at the community, to take action, uphold and advance a sustainable, resilient and climate-smart healthcare in the Philippines.
In an aim to gather hospitals, health systems, advocates and stakeholders who can demonstrate leadership in advancing sustainable, resilience and climate-smart healthcare in the Philippines amid uncertain times, we have successfuly organized the first Philippine Virtual Assembly of Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) Members, allies and prospects last December 3, 2020. With more than 100 individuals representing 44 hospitals, health facilities and organizations in the country.
Aside from the insightful plenary discussions on how Leadership in Action in healthcare looks like (webinar recording here), the participants were tasked to come up with a Stragetic Vision on how to achieve a "Healthy and Sustainable Hospital for All":
Part of the breakout sessions also was a discussion on Communication Skills to help hospitals bring to life their own sustainability stories through infographics, photos, videos and even articles. The central message that came out was for hospitals to amplify their voice in championing and influencing policies towards a Sustainable and Climate-resilient Healthcare for all.
Sr. Arcelita Sarnillo, SPC hospital administrator of St. Paul's Hospital in Iloilo and 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge Champion shared that, "a strong leadership is very significant during this pandemic and climate disaster incidents because it has the capacity to turn one’s vision into reality. A strong leadership is ever more important to motivate health care employees and front liners to work together in achieving clean, green and healthy climate-smart hospital.”
She also emphasized that the theme of the assembly “encourages all hospital leaders to display a strong sense of leadership that will lead everyone to the right direction and overcoming environmental issues amidst this uncertain time and inspire them to take action in promoting environmental justice.” ###
To know more about the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network in Southeast Asia, view this YOUTUBE VIDEO
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