The role of the health sector in reducing the burden of air pollution – #EHMA2021
15 April 2021
EHMA 2021 is our 26th Annual Conference on the theme ‘Health Management: Managing the present and shaping the future’. Our Conference explores challenges and solutions for creating sustainable health systems and ways health managers can lead towards them. The EHMA Conference is a great platform to showcase cutting-edge research, share provocative ideas and discuss complex problems with a view to reach implementable solutions. Every year, the Conference attracts research from leading universities, creating space to exchange knowledge on excellent delivery of healthcare and showcase best practices at the country, systems and organisational level. The conference is abstract-driven and features research by leading experts on the most contemporary topics on health management. It is a place for all healthcare stakeholders to come together to exchange innovation and best practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been referred to as a ‘once in a century’ shock, but “looming crises, such as climate change and environmental degradation, are likely to increase the probability of repeated public health shocks”(1).
One of the examples provided in the Health at a Glance: Europe 2020 report is that of air pollution, the adverse effects of chronic exposure to fine particulate matter on the health and welfare of European citizens, and the link between air pollution and COVID-19. Although air quality has improved in most European countries in the past years, EU member states have set ambitious goals to continue to reduce air pollution by 2030, including the proposal to adopt an action plan ‘Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil – building a Healthier Planet for Healthier People’ in 2021.
The involvement of the health sector has been limited in the activities to reduce air pollutions, but health managers can directly contribute by reducing the ecological footprint of the health sector. Some examples of measures to be adopted by health systems and organisations are: decreasing the energy consumption; improving their supply chain and adopting environmental-friendly procurement processes; reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources; implementing comprehensive waste management policies to reduce the use and waste of polluting materials and products; decreasing the use of toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals in disinfectants, surfaces and instruments; and reducing food waste in hospitals and other health care facilities (1).
In addition, the health sector can also collaborate with other sectors to promote greener policies, ensure the implementation of health in all policies, and encourage the adoption of environmental-friendly measures that will ultimately lead to health benefits for the population.
There is an urgent need for health systems to promote a green recovery and increase their resilience.
Join us at EHMA 2021 to share experiences and discover best practices of how health managers are and can adopt environmental-friendly measures to improve the environmental sustainability of health systems
1. OECD/European Union. Health at a Glance: Europe 2020-STATE OF HEALTH IN THE EU CYCLE. 2020.
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What our Members say
I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.
Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy
Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.
Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria
I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.
Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta
EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.
Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK
Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.
Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary
As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.
Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal
Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.
Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK
Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.
Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain