Environmental Sustainability in Health Technology Assessment



12:00 - 13:30

This webinar provides an overview of current methods to quantify the environmental impact of healthcare interventions

The climate and ecological crisis are the greatest threat to life on our planet. As a result of human interaction with the world, it is likely we will reach the 1.5°C threshold proposed in the Paris Agreement by 2027; dramatically increasing the risks of food and water shortages, conflict, extreme weather, and other crises. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change modelling suggests that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030 to avert irreversible environmental catastrophe.

The National Health Service (NHS) has reported that it is responsible for 5% of the UK carbon footprint. In tackling the environmental issues that we are facing; the NHS has committed to reach net zero by 2040 for controlled emissions and 2045 through the purchasing of goods and services from appropriate partners and suppliers. The reduction will also require the making of socially ethical decisions about the choice of healthcare that will be provided, whether this is pharmaceuticals, devices, or changes to whole care pathways. Environmental sustainability is likely to become a key part of healthcare decision making, including in health technology assessment (HTA), to support the NHS in reducing its environmental footprint. Methods for assessing environmental impact of health technology is an emerging area of research, data acquisition and reporting. However, aside from quantifying the environmental impact of healthcare, the real challenge that presents itself to decision makers is how health outcomes (for example, quality-adjusted life years) and environmental outcomes (for example, CO 2 e emissions) should be compared and ‘traded off’. Where do we “draw the line” within HTA, and at the same time accelerate efforts in developing sustainable healthcare?

This webinar provides an overview of current methods to quantify the environmental impact of healthcare interventions and discusses various approaches towards incorporating environmental sustainability into HTA decisions.

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