of COP28 UAE Climate and Health Declaration Although the declaration primarily focuses on the adaptation of the health sector to climate change and “climate resilience,” one of the three common goals in the declaration is specifically to reduce the climate impact of the health system. directed towards doing. The other two address the need for systems to prepare for and respond to climate-sensitive diseases and health risks, and more broadly, ‘mental health and psychosocial well-being, traditional medical knowledge, It shows that you are ready to deal with issues such as “loss of health, loss of health.” livelihoods and culture, and climate-induced displacement and migration. ”
It is important to consider what we mean by climate adaptation and resilience. These two terms are defined as follows: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2014 And they are not exactly the same thing. To me, adaptation has a passive nature: accepting, adapting to, and dealing with upcoming changes while maintaining the current system.
Adaptation. The process of adapting to actual or projected climate and its impacts. Human systems seek to mitigate or avoid harm or take advantage of beneficial opportunities through adaptation.
Resilience. Social, economic, and environmental systems respond or reorganize in ways that address hazardous events, trends, and disruptions, and maintain the ability to adapt, learn, and transform while preserving the system’s essential functions, identity, and structure. ability to. (IPCC2014).
On the other hand, there are two types of resilience: “bouncing back” and “bouncing back.” And that’s just one of the things we should focus on.
Most commonly, resilience refers to “bouncing back,” or being able to return to, or close to, an initial state after being affected by some event. If we get injured or sick, that’s what we want. For example, what do you want your health care system or community to do after a tornado hits? In that sense, it’s almost like an adaptation.
But bouncing back isn’t always a good idea. If you build a house (or a health system) in a delta or floodplain, does it really make sense to go back and build in the same place again, not to mention cheaper and less traumatic in the long run? Would it be wiser to rebuild elsewhere?
On the other hand, “moving forward” means moving toward a better situation rather than going back to a worse situation. We move from business as usual to transforming systems such as health systems, communities, and society as a whole.
Adaptation is a focus of the Government of Canada’s efforts in the health sector. Joint statement Statements from the Minister of Health, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister of Indigenous Services make this clear. Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, launched in June 2023, “will enable Health Canada to work with partners to update and expand adaptation.” health adapt This program supports actions to build climate-resilient health systems and protect the public from extreme heat, which is a growing and urgent health risk. ”
Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare Resilience section of the website And it was created all the way back in 2015. Climate Resilience Toolkit for Healthcare Facilities and related Checklist. These help facilities assess their resilience to climate change in areas such as emergency management, facilities management, health services, and supply chain management.
cascade We also have resources for climate-resilient health systems.
The HealthADAPT program “helps health departments prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.” The joint statement’s commitment to renew and expand the program is welcome, as the program’s funding ran out in March 2022. By that time, Health Canada had invested only $3.5 million, not a large commitment. In addition, the program he created two resources. guide and workbook Climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessment for the Canadian health sector.
However, Canada’s health care system is run by the provinces and territories, so adaptation is primarily the responsibility of the provinces and territories. That’s why, Joint letter to Canada’s Minister of Health and Minister of Environment and Climate Changemany major health organizations are calling on Health Canada and the provinces to establish and fund a climate change and health secretariat, and to make climate-resilient and sustainable health systems an agenda item for the next health ministers’ meeting. I’m asking you to.
Resilience as transformation
Of course, it is important for both the medical system and society to adapt to future changes and maintain a certain degree of “business as usual.”
But focusing on adaptation and resilience in the form of “bouncing back” will not work if the current system is flawed. In that case, the problem is not the solution, but maintaining business as usual.
Modern industrial society has not only led us to Global temperature rise is about to exceed the 1.5°C limit What we are trying to avoid is (Temperature change expected by 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius by 2100), it also gave us results Crossing 6 out of 9 major Earth system or planetary boundaries. The ecological and social conditions we face between now and 2100 will be different from normal.
It is therefore clear that the current system cannot and should not be maintained.
There are really only two choices. Either we continue to strive to maintain our social and economic systems as they are (in which case the ecosystem and the society embedded within it will decline or collapse), or we move towards a much more sustainable system. Either we embark on fundamental change. , a fair and healthy society.
There are significant implications for the health system here. The most important implications derive from the fact that future health systems will reflect the societies of which they are a part, and not the other way around. Things I often point out in my work as a health futurist.
It is clear that if society declines and collapses, the medical system will also collapse. But if we take a more hopeful approach and assume that communities and societies respond in transformative ways in the face of large-scale global ecological change, what kind of society do we see? What will the medical system look like once we recover? In such a society?
This is not the place to delve deeply into the transformative society we need to create, but in a nutshell: Welfare society called for by the World Health Organization For; a society “committed to achieving equitable health for present and future generations without overstepping ecological limits.”
over 40 years agoI drew parallels between the then-mainstream thinking of hard-tech nuclear energy systems and hospital-based, hard-tech medical systems, creating what Amory Robbins called the “soft energy path”: decentralized, green, renewable energy systems. I compared it with possible energy. energy systems and what I have called “soft health paths.” I proposed that this soft health path include “self-care and mutual self-help groups.” “Barefoot Doctors” and the World Health Organization’s Primary Care Strategy. The movement of nurses to provide care. Holistic health exercise. Interest in alternative treatments. and the resurgence of the public health movement. ”
soft technology: According to Lovins, soft technologies are flexible, non-harmful, sustainable and resilient, with five characteristics: It is renewable, diverse, flexible, relatively easy to use (and therefore accessible to the general public), and matches both scale and distribution. Achieve quality that meets end-use needs. (Hancock, 1982)
A lot has changed since 1982, but Robin’s vision for the soft energy path remains relevant, and we are perhaps closer to it now than we were then. We need to continue moving in that direction. I don’t know if we are any closer to my innovative vision for a soft health path than we were then, but the current failures in primary and community care suggest that if we were, our lives would be much better. suggests that it may get better.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said a few years ago: “Ecosystems sustain societies, which produce economies. The reverse does not happen.” Substitute “health systems” for “economy” and you’ll see this.
Therefore, the key challenge we face is to envision a medical system that is compatible with future societies and that is also compatible with Earth’s limited biological capacity and resources. This will result in a resilient health system.
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Photo credit: Doesn’t bounce
The post “Beyond Adaptation and Resilience: A Call for Healthcare Transformation” was first published on The Good Men Project.