Office of Hospital Sustainability a win for AMA Queensland advocacy

14 May 2021


Queensland Health has created an Office of Hospital Sustainability (OHS) in direct response to AMA Queensland’s calls for environmental sustainability in healthcare.

Research shows the health care sector is responsible for at least seven per cent of emissions, with:

  • GP clinics contributing four per cent;
  • and hospitals contributing 44 per cent of total emissions.

In AMA Queensland’s 2020 and 2021 Budget Submissions and 11-point Action Plan, we put forward that we consider that environmental sustainability in healthcare can be worked towards through a consistent approach to sustainability mitigation activities and the setting of benchmarks and targets in all public hospitals and health care settings.

AMA Queensland outlined the need for an OHS to provide advice to the Health Minister, Director-General and health services on how to best improve the health systems performance on sustainability and climate change objectives.

The OHS should undertake the following actions.

  • Set benchmarks and targets for sustainability in health services.
  • Develop a plan to invest in green/sustainable infrastructure for hospitals.
  • Establish a terms of reference for a review of procurement policies and practice.
  • Establish an engagement strategy for clinicians, managers and other staff.

As part of the Queensland Government’s election commitment, the OHS will be established within Queensland Health and will start by implementing a$30 million solar panel and energy efficiency program to install solar generation (solar panels) at 50 hospital sites.

The office will also be responsible for:

  • setting benchmarks and targets for environmental sustainability in Queensland Health 
  • ensuring investment in green/sustainable infrastructure for hospitals
  • reviewing procurement policies and practices to manage waste and procure environmentally sustainable products; and
  • providing advice and support on managing the effects of climate change on Queensland’s healthcare system.

AMA Queensland worked directly with consulting firm, Mercer Australia, who presented the proposed organisational design report to Queensland Health.

Published: 14 May 2021