Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Health service planning and sustainable development: considering what, where and how care is delivered through a pro-environmental lens

Sharon Desmond

A Federation University, Federation Business School, University Drive, Ballarat, Vic. 3350, Australia.

B Western Health, Gordon Street, Footscray, Vic. 3011, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: sharon.desmond@me.com

Australian Health Review - https://doi.org/10.1071/AH16217
Submitted: 28 September 2016  Accepted: 20 December 2016   Published online: 2 March 2017

Abstract

The aim of the present paper was to review the opportunities currently available to health service planners to advance sustainable development in their future-facing roles within health service organisation. Critical challenges and enablers to facilitate health services planners in adopting a pro-environmental lens are discussed.

What is known about the topic? Despite its harmful effect on the environment, health has been slower than other industries to embrace the sustainable development agenda. The attitudes and knowledge base of health service planners with regard to environmental sustainability has not been widely studied. For health service planners, embracing pro-environmental considerations in sustainable model of care development is a powerful opportunity to review care paradigms and prepare for the implementation of meaningful, improved health and system efficiency.

What does this paper add? This paper advances the case for health service planners to embrace a pro-environmental stance and guides health service leaders in the preparation and implementation of sustainable and improved health and system efficiency.

What are the implications for practitioners? Health service planers are in an ideal position to champion the sustainable development agenda as they explore what care is delivered, how care is delivered and where care is delivered. External policy, health service leadership and carbon literacy are advanced as critical contextual factors to facilitate the key role that health service planners can play in building sustainable healthcare organisations.


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