THE CHALLENGES HINDERING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN HOSPITALS
Free (open access)
241 - 250
MAY A. MASSOUD, FATME NASSERDDINE, NASSER YASSIN, RIMA NAKKASH
Healthcare services aim to reduce health problems and to prevent potential health risks. However, in doing so, waste is often generated that can adversely affect public health and the environment. This environmental impact is often neglected or overlooked, possibly due to the fact that non-clinical programs are generally not funded, and pollution prevention programs require a shift in thinking. Moreover, environmental management practices are mostly not compliance-driven. This research aims to: assess the perception of concerned stakeholders in hospitals in Lebanon, with regards to environmental standards and the impacts of their activities on the environment; investigate the challenges of implementing environmental management practices; and identify possible enhancing factors. Accordingly, in-depth interviews were conducted with concerned stakeholders from hospitals with different sizes. Thematic analysis was employed to thoroughly examine and evaluate the transcripts comprehensively, following the set objectives of the research. Findings revealed that the main challenges hindering the implementation of environmental management practices in hospitals are primarily employee resistance, lack of financial resources and qualified personnel, lack of awareness, lack of treatment methods and lack of support from the government. The enhancing factors that were recommended by the stakeholders revolve around financial support, training programs, rewards systems and improvement of standards. Developing sustainable environmental management practices requires a change in staff behaviour, which often occurs through ongoing staff education and training. Strengthening human and institutional capacity through a combination of training, technical assistance, and awareness programs is an essential initial step toward realizing effective environmental management practices.
environmental management practices, challenges, enhancing factors, Lebanon