Pre-conference: Sustainable primary healthcare: lessons learned, quick wins and challenges

Wednesday 8 November, 13:30 - 17:00 Dublin time (starting with network lunch at 12:30)

Organised by:

NHG - Dutch College for General Practioners (Netherlands); European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC). With support of EUPHA Health services research section and European Society for Quality & Safety in Family Medicine (EQUIP)


The climate crisis is the greatest threat to public health. Climate change and environmental pollution are leading to a vast increase of (different) healthcare challenges, such as infectious diseases and heat stress. The healthcare sector makes people better, helps prevent illness and offers people a good quality of life. By providing care, the sector contributes to the climate crisis as well. In Europe, the healthcare sector is jointly responsible for about 5 - 10% of CO2 emissions. In addition, around 5% of the waste and more than 10% of the use of raw materials comes from healthcare. In several countries throughout Europe, programmes, projects and ‘Green deals’ and other initiatives are working on Sustainable Care.

In this pre-conference we start with painting the broader picture on sustainable care and the main challenges we face by contributing positively to climate change and its health consequences. We then focus on primary care. What is needed to make your practice more sustainable? What support and information is already available? Working more sustainably is requires not only major investments, but also smaller daily actions that can make a difference.

We describe lessons learned from initiatives and programmes in different European countries and share our experiences during an interactive session.


You can find the detailed programme here.

In this half day preconference we start with key-lectures and short presentations, for which we invited some experts from science and practice. We will present examples from Dutch and Irish GPs. In the second part, we will discuss, interactively in small groups, statements, such as:  

  • Environmental issues in relation to primary care are negligible in comparison to what is produced at secondary care level.
  • If you want to have less environmental impact on the health of your patients you need to pay attention to your own footprint as well.
  • Besides what our respective governments should be doing, what could be a preventive role for professionals in public health and primary healthcare towards citizens in terms of lowering the impact of climate change on general health?
  • For the surgery, patient and staff travel dominate the footprint. So the more remote consultations, the less impact on environment.
  • We should invest in digital health care, also in in primary healthcare
  • Preventing and reducing the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment is a crucial area in which primary care professionals can play an important role.


The registration fee is € 75 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.