Biden administration is launching a new health office in United States that is going to prod the hospitals for cutting carbon emissions.The aim of this initiative is to provide a more environment friendly and greener medical care to the patients.
The administration has launched this new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity on Monday. Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services Secretary,said that the new office will also collaborate with the communities to mitigate harmful effects of climate change including “seniors succumbing to excessive summer heat” due to lacking air conditioning in the apartments.
This health program will give special attention to minorities who are often most affected and bear a disproportionate effect due to environmental problems.
Secretary Xavier Becerra further said that “It is not just about the climate, it’s about our environment. It’s about our health”
It has been estimated by the United States health care system that the annual emission of carbon dioxide is about 10%. It is a substantial amount of greenhouse gas that is supporting enough to cause climate change.
President Joe Biden has aimed at cutting greenhouse gases emission in US by at least half. This is the environmental goal to be achieved by 2030. Though biggest and single source of emission of such gases is transportation but every sector of the economy is being scrutinized to meet the target of Biden’s health and environmental goal.
It will be a challenge for the new health office to engage the hospital industry, but the administration will move step by step with it, Becerra added. It will start from “fleshing out the scientific case for health care institutions to reduce carbon footprints”, using laboratories at public hospitals, and lobbying the top leaders of the hospital industry.
Hospitals will also be finding it a challenge to meet with the new regulations as they economically depend on payments by Medicare and Medicaid, mainly for their survival. Becerra told the reporters that they will reach out to various industries and speak to them as much as they can.
The health office will not sit and wait, it will go with the support of science and legal authorities to move. The secretary has instructed the team to move.
Becerra has built a reputation for “taking on major industries” as former attorney general of California. He is the new advisor at the health office and has already served at the environmental policy section of the state.
Administration of Biden and health care industry of US have joined to work with National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to work working solutions and strategies to cut the carbon emission problem. The chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association, Michelle Hood, said in a statement that financial penalties are not effective as they cannot address the root cause of the problem.
Hospitals are trying to contain the delta surge of COVID-19 that is the fourth in two years, and they blame government requirements for the emission.