On the 22-23 of February 2016 I attended the Asia-Pacific Regional Symposium organized by The Task force on Health which promote hospitals and the environment. The symposium was hosted by Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
On day 1 the theme of eco-friendly hospitals for a sustainable world was explored in different aspects some of them discussed below.
Professor Adam Shoemaker, deputy vice chancellor and academic provost of Griffith University and Dr Chin-Lon Lin, CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation addressed the opening by advocating sustainable solutions to disaster prevention and preparedness as oppose to response and recovery.
Dr Ming-Nan Lin, V. superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Taiwan explained how Tzu Chi Hospitals has become self-sufficient-off the grid modern facilities, which respond to the health needs of the Taiwanese people in all conditions including disasters and how these self sufficient hospital which grow their own organic food, have solar passive design and are 0 waste 100% recycling friendly is saving millions of tax payers money allowing for a better service as the saving costs are utilized to pay for extra clinical staff and provide extra social services such as picking up patient in community buses from their homes to the hospital appointments.
Faye V. Ferrer, coordinator of Global Green and Healthy Hospital, Health Care without Harm Asia spoke about the "Do no harm" roles and responsibilities of the Health sector in the protection of the environment, gave examples of how reducing the amount of chemical in the hospital promotes a healthy environment as many of the chemical are carcinogenic - Dr Ray Moynihan a research fellow form Bond University supportive these findings by saying that "Too much medicine" is harming us and is detrimental to the healthcare sustainability of hospitals, Mr Chris Hill (RN) Director of Environmental sustainability at Mater Health Services in Sydney provided examples of how sustainability is managed in the Australian Mater Hospitals.
Day 2 of focus on the Disaster and Emergency management in the Health Care Sector. Dr Paul Barnes, Head of Risk and Resilience, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, explained "All together now: a case for enhanced thinking on interoperability among response agencies in complex disasters" which means that there is a great need to coordinate resources to respond to disasters effectively and the lack of coordination can waste valuable resources and time. At the time of questions and answers I asked Mr Iain S Mackenzie, Deputy Commissioner, Inspector General Emergency Management, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services if he has any knowledge of Ecovillages and the role such models can play in risk mitigation in disaster management? Mr Iain S Mackenzie was keen to know more about these model and requested information - this experience thought me that there is a lot of work to be done about educating the authorities and the public in general about how Ecovillages can provided an effective sustainable response to disasters and save many lives.
Recyclable products produced by Tzu Chi foundation and used in disaster relief