Princess Haya Urges Healthcare Leaders to Invest in Prevention

DUBAI - Leaders in the medical community have been urged to invest more on sustainable projects and green healthcare to improve patient care and quality of life.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2010, 12:16 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:40 PM

During a keynote address at the Leaders in Healthcare, the flagship gathering at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress that concluded on Thursday, Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the medical community should invest in prevention.

“What does sustainability in healthcare actually mean? Yes, it means sustainable use of resources, especially energy,” she said in her address during the conference on the theme “The Future: Sustainable Healthcare Systems”.

“But development is only sustainable if communities are involved and take responsibility for choices they make,” she added.

Talking about the effect that obesity and other non-communicable diseases would have on the future of healthcare, Princess Haya said, “Unless we have a long-term vision, unless we invest in prevention, we will soon be overwhelmed by the level of diabetes, heart disease and other non-communicable diseases.” She emphasised the importance of adopting green standards for construction and energy use. “We cannot have healthy people on a sick planet either.” Hospitals are one of the largest consumers of energy in the world today. “They use twice as much energy per square foot as office buildings and generate millions and millions of tonnes of waste per year,” she said.

“If the earth’s ecosystem is to continue to support us, we need to preserve public health and provide healthcare in ways that will sustain our environment.”

She also said the idea that green buildings will make the world a better place is gaining rapid popularity in the healthcare industry and even more so in the UAE of which Al Jalila Children’s Hospital due to be completed in 2012 will be an example.

Other speakers at the conference also addressed principles of sustainable healthcare, focusing on preventive approaches to healthcare, operational efficiency and increased profitability as well as the meaning of ‘going green’.

“Healthcare outcomes can be improved through good leadership and patient focus,” Dr Mark Parrish, director, Health Solutions Group Asia Pacific and Middle East, Microsoft Pty, said.

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