Friday, 15 January 2016

Practicing Green Medicine

Practicing Green Medicine Dr S S Agarwal and Dr KK Aggarwal Through the process of photosynthesis, plants are uniquely placed to consume harmful carbon dioxide and produce oxygen required for the sustenance of life. Any effort towards reducing pollution would inevitably require a parallel focus on deforestation (or reforestation) to be effective in the medium and long term. Physicians as health specialists, who hold an educating role in society must take it upon themselves to make their offices greener, and proliferate green behavior with their patients. More than 140 actions and educational steps have been proposed and documented by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on varied topics including climate change, renewable energy, solid waste recycling, energy and water conservation, indoor chemical use, transportation options, organic foods and landscape management. Specific suggestions include adopting energy conservation policies at home and commercial properties, using recyclable plates and utensils if disposable, and consumption of organic foods grown without using harmful chemicals and pesticides. This is over and above compliance with biomedical waste management norms that have been clearly specified by standards such as the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) in India, and the Joint Commission International (JCI) globally. A partner organization of the World Medical Association (WMA), My Green Doctor (, offers help to physicians in proliferating green thinking. My Green Doctor is a free service guiding physicians to make their outpatient medical settings (including diagnostic centers and clinics) more green, in a manner that saves them money overall. While an initiative launched out of the United States, applicability of its teaching are universal. Patients and physicians both suffer alike with the deteriorating environment. Furthermore, their practices, utilizing various therapeutic, diagnostic, and patient monitoring equipment, undeniably add to the load on urban and rural power grids. It is hence the duty of doctors to educate society on environmental-friendly practices, starting with their implementing such policies in their own healthcare establishments.

No comments:

Post a Comment