How could the healthcare sector respond to global climate and sustainability goals? An Opinion

Dr. Fatma AL JABRI

As it happens, we all tend to be so engaged with our areas of expertise. And that’s important and understandable. We nevertheless need to time-to-time step back and reflect on the broader mission and responsibility of the healthcare system. In this opinion, I intend to cascade the reflection I have recently made on how the healthcare sector could (or rather should) respond to the global climate and sustainability goals.

I believe that the healthcare sector has a crucial role to play in responding to global climate and sustainability goals (THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development ( As one of the largest industries worldwide, healthcare has a significant environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, waste generation, and the use of harmful chemicals. I think therefore that it is just imperative for the sector to take proactive measures to mitigate its negative effects on the environment and contribute to a sustainable future.

One key aspect of the healthcare sector’s response should be to prioritize environmental sustainability in its operations (Sustainability in Health Care | Annual Review of Environment and Resources (, Environmental health and strengthening resilience to pandemics ( This can be achieved through various means, such as adopting energy-efficient technologies, optimizing water usage, implementing waste management strategies, and reducing the use of hazardous substances. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and practices, healthcare facilities can significantly decrease their ecological footprint and promote resource efficiency.

I also think that another crucial area for the healthcare sector to focus on is to promote public health measures that are aligned with climate goals (WHO Global Strategy on Health, Environment and Climate Change, 2020). Climate change poses significant risks to public health, including increased heat-related illnesses, vector-borne diseases, and respiratory ailments. Healthcare professionals and organizations can play a vital role in educating the public about these risks and promoting preventive measures. They can collaborate with policymakers and advocate for policies that prioritize public health and address climate change simultaneously.

One area that may be quite impactful is to have healthcare providers integrate sustainability principles into their procurement practices (Climate change and global health: What actions are healthcare leaders taking? | World Economic Forum ( By favoring environmentally friendly products and services, they can support the development and adoption of sustainable technologies and practices across the healthcare supply chain. This approach can incentivize suppliers to adopt eco-friendly manufacturing processes, reduce waste, and limit the use of harmful chemicals.

And specifically related to universities and research institutions (such as glory UEF!), the healthcare sector can contribute to global climate and sustainability goals by actively participating in research and innovation. This includes supporting and conducting studies on the health impacts of climate change, exploring new treatments and technologies that are environmentally sustainable, and sharing best practices and knowledge across the industry. Collaboration between healthcare providers, researchers, and policymakers can drive innovation and lead to the development of sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and public health.

Lastly, healthcare professionals can play a critical role in advocating for policy changes and engaging in public discourse on climate and sustainability issues (Climate change and global health: What actions are healthcare leaders taking? | World Economic Forum ( By leveraging their expertise and credibility, they can raise awareness about the links between climate change and health, and advocate for policies that prioritize sustainability. This can include supporting renewable energy initiatives, promoting sustainable transportation options, and advocating for policies that mitigate environmental pollution.

So overall I am in the opinion that the healthcare sector has the potential to significantly contribute to global climate and sustainability goals. By prioritizing sustainability in its operations, promoting public health measures aligned with climate goals, integrating sustainability into procurement practices, fostering research and innovation, and engaging in advocacy, the sector can become a powerful force for positive change. Embracing a sustainable approach will not only reduce the sector’s ecological footprint but also protect public health and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

Fatma Al Jabri – UEFConnect
Department of Nursing Science
University of Eastern Finland

Clinical Nurse Coordinator for the Ministry of Health, Oman

Unfair to Keep Transforming – Do We Have A Second Option? – Or Rather, Do We Need A Second Option?

I was raised up in a simple village; no satellite channels, no digital learnings, no mobile phones – and I used to think life will always be that linear and easy. I grew up a little more and started to see the benefit of the technological appliances and luxuries that my parents used to bring and install at home. The ‘linear’ perspective started to look ‘exponential’ and beautiful. I grew up more, joined university and started to learn that such exponential changes could also be abrupt and disruptive. I have experienced this when I joined the nursing taskforce at the Ministry of Health in Oman. Over those service years, I have seen how major technological and socio-economic advancements such an instrumental positive impact on the way had we approached things and delivered services. I now realize that, indeed, change and paradigm shifts are the only (and good) constant in life.

Being a passionate and caring nurse, I became interested to see what could be the new archetypes of transformational in the healthcare system? And how the delivery taskforce would, and more importantly, should play in this journey?

I started to spearhead – in collaboration with UEF Subject Matter Experts – a research project that focuses on healthcare promotion, delivery efficiency, and volume-to-value transitions. This research project aspires to develop greater understanding on three main buckets: (1) capacity for renewal, (2) quality of execution, and (3) sustainability.

  1. Capacity for renewal. This determines the effectiveness of an organization at understanding, interacting with, adapting to, and shaping its situation to external environments.
  2. Quality of execution. This determines the level of excellence in executing the organization strategy and delivering the services from a core competency perspective.
  3. Sustainability. This determines the compelling integration between the organization culture and working climate.

This research work has started to yield instrumental outcomes that will improve the operational effectiveness within healthcare institutions and attain better collaboration for prevention and wellness.

Looking backward, I am grateful to whom am I and to where am I now. Looking forward, I am confident that the future is as exciting and I aspire to connect with you to exchange perspectives and leverage opportunities.


Fatma Al-Jabri, MSc, RN, PhD Candidate
Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland
P.O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland