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All-electric Healthy Hospitals

Our new Healthy Hospitals national work will campaign for the rollout of all-electric, renewable-powered healthy hospitals in every state and territory in Australia. 

Healthcare in Australia accounts for 7% of Australia's total domestic carbon footprint. To a large extent, healthcare emissions stem from fossil-fuel-based energy sources such as coal-generated electricity and fossil gas. 

This ambitious and historical work will deliver big emissions reductions and climate readiness for our healthcare system which is relied upon by every community in Australia. 

We know that all-electric hospitals are good for the health of patients, healthcare workers, the community, and our climate.

Whilst there are commendable sustainability plans across many health networks to reduce emissions and transform the Australian health system into a sustainable system, an important element of this work must include fully electrifying hospitals. 

This includes all new health infrastructure being built fully electrified and the more complex challenge of retrofitting all existing health infrastructure to become all-electric. 

We plan to lift up the voices of trusted healthcare workers, medical colleges and organisations across the country to drive this ambitious and inspiring campaign to secure commitments from the Federal government to support every state and territory in Australia to rapidly transition to an all-electric healthcare system.

If you are keen to learn more about this inspiring new campaign and how you can get involved please contact Ursula at: [email protected]

We will be starting a working group on this project shortly.

The Benefits: 

There are a number of reasons why hospitals should be built and retrofitted to be all electric as soon as possible:

  • Climate: converting to electric heating and hot water production will significantly reduce hospitals' greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to mitigating climate change and its harmful effect on health.
  • Climate Readiness and Resilience: all-electric hospitals with a mix of on-site, nearby community based, and grid relayed renewable energies will be more climate resilient at times of peak energy insecurity and extreme climate events (especially if micro-grids and on site generation and batteries are invested in as a matter of climate resilience).
  • Justice: a healthy public healthcare system is an extremely important feature of a just society, making sure that all people can access health care equitably, and that healthcare is both ethical and sustainable makes this a justice issue. 
  • Economic: all-electric new builds and retrofitting hospitals now will save money in the medium to long term. Locking hospitals into an insecure energy source like gas leaves governments vulnerable to volatile price variations. Lowering the costs of energy bills for hospitals and the government is a win-win.
  • Sustainability: The sourcing of renewable electricity is now viable and is often already or will continue to be a cheaper source of energy than traditional, polluting, dirty fossil fuel energy. 
  • Health Benefits: Electric heating and hot water systems produce fewer pollutants than fossil gas systems and should be understood as a cleaner alternative in public health conversations. There are significant concerns for air quality where gas is being used, and mounting a campaign for hospitals to lead by example by becoming fully electrified. 
  • Security: guaranteeing energy reliability in hospitals is paramount, and the reliability of gas supplies is vulnerable to storms, infrastructure accidents and other events that could damage the pipes of mechanical equipment used. This could leave a hospital without heat or water, which has severe consequences for patient care. 

All-electric hospitals are safer, more reliable and more sustainable options for the healthcare system in Australia. Which is why we want to see the federal government make it a priority to retrofit all hospitals to become all-electric as soon as possible.