HealthcarePapers 19(3) October 2020 : 53-56.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2020.26372

Opportunities for Action toward a Sustainable Health System

Jennifer Zelmer


The current pandemic is a stark reminder that crises bring to light society's vulnerabilities. In the lead paper of this issue of Healthcare Papers, Miller and Xie (2020) argue that the same is – and will be – true for climate change. They make a compelling and urgent case for its importance to health and healthcare in Canada and around the world. Opportunities to advance the multiple interrelated dimensions of sustainability in the health sector include understanding and mitigating the health implications of climate change; preparing the health sector for climate change; and accelerating the health sector's contribution to society-wide net-zero targets. High-performing, resilient health systems with their capacity to deeply engage with communities, and to respond dynamically to changing circumstances, will be key to proactively addressing climate change, just as they are proving to be in pandemic preparedness and response.



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