Dubai: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday urged the medical community to invest in prevention in a keynote speech at Leaders in Health Care, the flagship gathering at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress.
The focus of this year's Leaders in Health Care was sustainable and green health care that would not only be environmentally friendly and cost-effective but also contribute to the overall quality of patient care and a higher quality of life for all people.
"If we want to see sustainable development in the health sector, we as members of the medical community must also be personally involved and take responsibility for the choices we make," said Princess Haya.
"Unless we have long-term vision, unless we invest in prevention, we will soon be overwhelmed by the level of diabetes, heart disease and other non-communicable diseases."
Princess Haya emphasised the importance of adopting green standards for construction and energy use, essentially how we build, to be environmentally sustainable and promote the healing process itself. She highlighted that hospitals are one of the largest consumers of energy in the world today.
"They use twice as much energy per square foot as office buildings and generate millions and millions of tonnes of waste per year," She said. "If the earth's ecosystem is to continue to support us, we need to preserve public health and provide health care in ways that will sustain our environment."
Topics of discussion throughout the day revolved around principles of sustainable health care, preventive approaches to health care, operational efficiency and increased profitability as well as the meaning of "going green" and why it is good for business.
Among other high-level speakers who took part in Leaders in Health Care were: Brian De Francesca, Executive Vice-President, TBS Group and Senior Partner, Capitol Health, US; Heinrich Von Wulfen, CEO, EMEA and CRM, Siemens Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany; G. Steven Burrill, Chief Executive, Burrill & Co, US; Dr Walid Fitahi, CEO, International Medical Centre, Jeddah and Professor Elias Mossialos, Centre Director, LSE, Health.