LR – Collective outer competences
While health budgets are being cut back, the number of people needing treatment for chronic degenerative diseases is rising especially in Western countries. Our current health care systems are not as evolved in the area of preventative medicine and chronic disease care as they are in emergency and acute medical situations.
There is no doubt about the immense value of sophisticated drugs and surgery but there is also a need for more sustainable practices to ensure that we still have affordable and sustainable healthcare in the future.
Health organisations, health professionals and citizens need to co-develop and co-create sustainable health practices instead of leaving the responsibility for developing healthcare to experts alone.
Both citizens as well as professionals need to learn how to engage in empowering generative conversations and co-create the health care that benefits people and planet.
For a sustainable healthcare, we need citizens who feel capable and empowered to take a more active role in their own healthcare and that of their communities . 21st century healthcare needs people powered health.
Funding our health
We allocate a large amount of resources to treat illness in expensive places like hospitals while giving little attention to preventative care and citizen engagement.
The number of resource intense surgical interventions for lifestyle-related conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease are continuously rising, at the same time as the cost of drugs to treat these diseases are also rising at a dramatic rate. For example diabetes is a major condition in the UK which costs the NHS 9.8 billion a year at the moment. 10% of the entire NHS budget is spent on Diabetes treatments alone.
We have to examine the financial, personal and societal impacts of acute and chronic health conditions to prevent people being needlessly affected by it and by its complications.
Resources to improve health awareness and prevention need to be increased to avoid a financial disaster. We need to find appropriate health practices that are cost effective, reduce lifestyle-related diseases to avoid a breakdown of the health system which would hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.
Freeing knowledge flows
The internet allows the flow of knowledge and intelligence across our global neurons, giving rise to many inventions that help dealing with crises in our social, economic, financial, and health systems, including innovative treatments for so far incurable diseases. Technology can also help to share information on drug research, safe cost by reducing duplication of trials and speed up the development of new knowledge and new drugs.
Health informatics systems can streamline medical care, reduce repeated or duplicate tests and procedures and automate manual processes. Electronic health records can improve patient education: we can more easily get direct access to our records, stay involved/informed in our healthcare and it could help us to potentially manage our own care.
Detoxifying our environment & sustainable development
The environment we live within effects our health and wellbeing dramatically. Just think of the toxins in our food, in our homes, in our air and water. While we can never completely control the environment around us, we can make changes that support health and healing.
Avoidance and continual detoxification from chemicals, unhealthy micro-organisms and even electromagnetic radiation is an important part of staying healthy over a lifetime.
We can be involved in supporting changes in society that result in a healthier environment and the use of sustainable practices .
Becoming aware of the different levels of ecology we live within can allow us to make better, ecologically sustainable choices and live more vital lives.
Making healthier health policy
Example of report on health policy compiled by the Kings Fund in 2012 addresses many important aspects of healthcare (i.e performance, investment, tackling preventable causes of ill health) but unfortunately does not mention Sustainability Measures. Without looking into the issues of Sustainability we will not be able to heal our health systems no matter how well intentioned and good the report.
Healthier health policy needs to include sustainability measures.
Co-governance of health related resources - Commons Trusts
"Something new must emerge . A new mode of social contract .., an egoless mode .. based on cooperation, tolerance and universal participation and accountability. " Adi Da, '-..Not-Two Is Peace'
• Commons trusts are the only social institutions capable of protecting and incentivizing the creation of replenishable commons. Commons trusts are able to stimulate and protect the co-production of a replenishable resource because they use measures other than scarcity-based pricing to value these common goods.
• The creation of commons trusts allows the private and public sectors to continue to focus on profit, investment and budgetary appropriations, while the commons becomes a primary means of generating social innovation and stabilizing the principal of commons reserves to maintain the diversity and sustainability of the overall economy.
The stakeholders of a commons appoint trustees to manage a trust on behalf of designated beneficiaries.
For more information on Commons Trusts click here.