Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe has developed a set of healthcare procurement criteria to incentivise the responsible use of antimicrobials in food production.
Written with support from HCWH Europe’s Healthcare Market Transformation Network, the criteria are an easy-to-use toolbox that can be adapted to the particular needs of individual healthcare institutions and highlights several potential improvements in animal welfare practices that can promote responsible use of antimicrobials in food producing farms.
The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in animal farming can lead to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which causes an estimated 1.27 million deaths per year and represents a serious public health threat and a growing challenge for healthcare systems. Intensive farming practices are associated with a growing number of resistant bacteria that can spread to humans and therefore requires a holistic approach that includes food production.
Patients, visitors, and staff consume a large number of meals every day in European healthcare institutions. In 2011, the provision of main meals in UK healthcare facilities was over 130 million. In Paris alone, 18 facilities belonging to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) provide 62,000 meals a day. The scale of food provided in the healthcare sector makes it a well-positioned actor to drive sustainability in the food supply chain.