Examining the Effect of Climate Change on the Health Care Sector

Examining the Effect of Climate Change on the Health Care Sector

The health care sector is a large and multifaceted sector which provides products and services to address patients with curative, preventative, rehabilitative, and palliative treatments. It covers all health categories like mental health, infectious diseases, medical health, occupational health, dental health, pharmacy, nutrition, rural health, psychology etc. According to a recent study, it is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. The sector is witnessing exponential growth at a rapid pace owing to its potential and scope to serve the common people with better health and more convenient service delivery. This rapidly growing health care sector has the potential to expand globally and become one of the leading employers in the economy.

Now a day’s the health-care sector has come to rely more on trained professionals who have gained expertise in managing the ever-changing challenges of health. These professionals are able to anticipate the adverse effects of the changes in the environment and prepare health facilities accordingly. These professionals are equipped with cross-functional skills such as communication, design, technical, operations, finance, project management, administration, marketing, and much more. As a result, the health care sector in India is seeing new frontiers everyday with healthcare managers taking charge of the expanding and developing regions. A health-care manager, therefore, becomes a strategic asset for his organization.

However, with the rapid growth also comes worsening condition of the public health system. The increasing number of cases of chronic illnesses and fatal diseases in the developed countries have made health care services a critical priority. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have failed to bridge the quality gap between developed and developing countries. In fact, the MDG has not achieved its primary goal of improving health because by the time it was achieved, the quality gap had widened significantly.

The major cause for this failure is inadequate training, lack of specialized knowledge, and inadequate supervision. On the one hand, there is a pressing need to train health care workers and improve their quality of care and develop standards according to the developed world. On the other hand, there is a general lack of sufficient resources. The public health system in many developing countries is ill prepared to deal with the new challenges presented by environmental change, occupational hazards, epidemics, and other factors that pose risks to health. The limited health care resources are insufficient to meet basic needs and increasingly affect the health care sector negatively.

The growing health care sector response to the increasing threats posed by climate change has been the creation of a green economy. Greenhouse gases and other pollutants have increased in recent years and these pollutants have serious adverse effects on health. Many developing countries lack the financial resources required to undertake major projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health-care sector. The green economy hopes to provide adequate health care utilization by creating public goods and services that are mutually beneficial and cost effective.

One example is the development of a sustainable health care sector that uses energy efficiently, produces less toxic gases, recycles waste, and enhances the environment in which we work and live. The use of an agent called desflurane has the potential to dramatically reduce emissions of the pollutants that are the cause of global warming. Desflurane does not act as a carcinogen, as do other toxic chemicals, nor does it contribute to the formation of soil borne diseases and cancerous cells. Although the agent has not yet been approved for use in the United States, it has been used in several countries in South America and Africa and is now becoming increasingly popular in the United States and Europe.

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