Experts have long touted the cost and time savings associated with virtual health care, but its potential environmental benefits have received less attention. As a lower-carbon alternative to traditional care delivery, virtual care has a key role to play in mitigating the health sector’s significant contributions to climate change. Canada Health Infoway estimates that virtual care reduced travel-related carbon (CO2) emissions by 120,000 metric tonnes in 2019 alone, and projects that if the number of primary care virtual visits were to increase to 50 per cent of total visits, it would reduce CO2 emissions by 325,000 metric tonnes annually. Though this scenario once seemed years away, Infoway has documented a sharp increase in virtual care visits as Canada responds to COVID-19, making it more important than ever to consider the many co-benefits of virtual care.
Want to learn more about why virtual care must be harnessed as part of a broad strategy to improve the environmental sustainability of healthcare? Don’t miss this webinar on June 10 from 12-1 p.m. ET, hosted by Canada Health Infoway and the University of Toronto’s Centre for Sustainable Health Systems.