Our health care systems are facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing threat to community health and resilience from the climate crisis. Climate-related disasters leave health care facilities vulnerable to suspended services, postponed procedures, evacuation orders, an inability to treat patients, and closure causing massive economic and human disruption. Nationwide the combination of these public health crises has strained hospital facilities, stressed staff, and depleted resources.
The Biden administration has demonstrated a clear understanding of the urgency of the moment, committing the nation to ambitious, science-based targets to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and joining 50 other countries in pledging to build a climate-resilient and low carbon health care sector through the COP26 Health Programme. . .
. . .Following through on these goals and commitments as outlined in EO 14057 for federal health care facilities is critical. Examples of key actions include:
- Specifically, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ prohibition of the use of reprocessed single use medical devices in the VHA should be overturned. Reprocessed medical devices are safe and in widespread use, including by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) health care facilities, and switching to reprocessed medical devices results in considerable cost and emissions savings. . .
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