Climate change is a public health issue that threatens all of us. Water and air pollution increase, leading to more chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma. Increased temperatures due to climate change lead to increased ground-level ozone, which cause airway inflammation and damages lung tissue. That hospitals are a leading cause of climate change producing emissions should be a call to action to all healthcare workers to reduce waste and lower emissions.
Report after report sounds the alarm. Hospitals are running out of money. One example: News from the Washington State Hospital Association that, if current trends continue, “about half of the state’s hospitals will be out of money by the end of 2023.” Hospitals in the state face over $2.5 billion in losses. The culprit is a brew comprised of longer hospital stays, growing wages, and a spike in travel costs.
We learn from the earliest age that nature is circular. When a plant or animal is born it enters a circle of life. But in the industrialized world, when a new cell phone model is released or a refrigerator is broken “beyond repair,” we are conditioned to buy anew. Each new product requires raw materials to be extracted from the Earth. Additional non-renewable resources are used to manufacture, assemble, then ship the product.
What began as a pandemic-driven personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage has grown into a massive worldwide, healthcare products supply chain nightmare. “This is a national problem,” said Lori Lee, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, Yale New Haven Health, in an interview with Forbes. When shortages of PPE were resolved, “everyone was happy, including us. What people don’t realize is that now it has moved to all these other categories