Green barometer for hospitals in the Netherlands
After surgery, an imposing amount of waste piles up that has to be disposed. Sounds logical at first, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, hospitals have to be one hundred percent sterile to ensure patient safety.
The Dutch Nationale Green OK Network is now challenging us to rethink the consumption of single-use products and to focus on reuse and sustainability.
Therefore, the network is working on a “Green Barometer” a checklist to measure sustainability in the operation theatre. Currently it’s in the test phase but will probably be applied in all hospitals in the Netherlands.
“At home, we separate the trash, in the hospital we throw everything together. Something has to change. In 2030 we have to be CO2 neutral,” says Frank Willem Jansen, chairman of the National Green OK Network and professor of gynaecology at Leiden University Medical Center and professor of biomedical engineering at TU Delft.
The barometer takes many aspects in consideration, especially the amount of waste in the operating theatre. “We need to challenge industry to replace disposable instruments with reusable ones,” says Jansen.
But it is not only the industry that should be held responsible. There is also an appeal to politicians to adjust the legal requirements for disposable products. According to Jansen, the only reason for the current practice is commerce. After all, the circular economy is feasible, but largely not wanted.
That is why the barometer is being launched – for awareness and a greener and safe OR.