Healthcare Systems: move towards sustainability

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Good health is dependent on so much more than a good doctor and access to treatment. “The rest is environmental and behavioral—clean air, clean water, good food. We can’t be healthy people if our communities aren’t healthy (Jamie Harvie)” 

In The Case for Commons Health Care, an article published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, he highlights how a tragedy of the commons is underway in health care, agriculture, and our global climate (onthecommons.org).

There has been a push by Health Systems like the NHS and Kaiser Permanente in the United States to promote community ownership and involvement in healthcare. This means community involvement in the decision making process of fund allocations, community campaigns to educate people on healthy living lifestyles. Education on prevention and behavioral changes that will impact health. The system cannot survive unless preventative care and behaviors of patients changes. Currently, health systems are treating very sick people with health issues that are preventable by behavioral changes. 

Healthcare systems can no longer continue to run as profit systems that fill as many beds as possible, writing as many tests and overutilize resources. It must be a preventative system that uses the community to create social awareness around healthy living and ways to prevent illness by lifestyle choices and access. Healthcare needs to be seen as a lifestyle and a place that promotes healthy living and care for our bodies. 

How hospitals  help tackle obesity – Commons Health Hospital Challenge

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