You may not know this, but hospitals are among the most environmentally unfriendly places on the entire planet. In the United States, hospitals account for 8% of the entire country, On this side of the border, just one hospital in Vancouver has an ecological footprint nearly 740 times its physical size. Health care has lagged behind when it comes to going green one good reason - your safety. Trouble is, the double-gloving and triple packaging we do to protect your health is also killing the environment.
But hospitals are beginning to realize they've got to do their bit to prevent or slow down climate change. This week on WCBA, I spend a day with Ed Rubinstein, an environmental and energy officer at University Health Network -- which is made up 3 hospitals in downtown Toronto. He's one of just a handful of hospital employees who work full time on the environmental file. Rubinstein takes me to an operating room where a patient is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to find out what supplies and equipment went into the operation and to follow the waste out the door to recycling or landfill.
I also speak to Geoffrey Kelley Quebec Liberal Member (MNA) for Jacques-Cartier and Chair of the Select Committe on the issue of the right to die with dignity. Kelley is co-Chair of public hearings in Quebec on the controversial issue of euthanasia, which got underway last week.
You can listen to the show here, or download the podcast and listen on the go.
And if you'd like to find out more about the effort to green medicine, check out these excellent resources: