Representative Image of a Hospital
Representative Image of a Hospital 1662222/Pixabay

The Emirates Health Services (EHS) revealed that the government department has successfully reduced carbon emissions by 12% with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and telemedicine under the initiative called Green Patient Care, which was launched earlier this year.

EHS' announcement came on Sunday, particularly during the Climate and Health Response in UAE event hosted on the sidelines of COP28 at Expo City by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP).

According to the government department, health care facilities across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witness around 2.6 million outpatient visits every year. Around 17% of total emissions in the health care sector occur due to patients and medical aid transportation that generates 5 million tons of CO2 emissions every month.

Dr. Sara AlShaya, director of the Data and Statistics Department at EHS, spoke about the virtual health clinics and telemedicine, as well as the AI model that helped with the success of the Green Patient Care project.

AlShaya explained that this project helped reduce in-person visits to the hospital and led to 300,000 e-visits, cutting more than 6 million tons of CO2 emissions. She said the initiative also made patients more aware of their carbon footprint and encouraged them to opt for virtual consultations.

"We are very happy to share the results of the Green Patient Care project. The initiative was launched to drive sustainability in the health care sector and encourage patients and health care practitioners to work towards reducing their carbon footprint and that of the industry," she said, according to WAM.

"The major sources of carbon emissions in the health care industry include hospital buildings, travel and transportation and medical devices and equipment. Pharmaceutical and medical waste also need to be managed efficiently to reduce impact on the environment," she added.

AlShaya also noted that EHS was mindful of all these factors, adding that the project will "continue to build more sustainable solutions for the health care sector."

The initiative reportedly continues to monitor and train to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced, aiming to make the health care sector more sustainable.

The UAE is currently hosting the COP28 summit. Held at Expo City, Dubai, the event opened on Nov. 30 and will run until Dec. 12.

Last month, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health launched a program for 100 Emirati physicians working in different health care facilities across the country to upskill the national health care workforce.