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Open AccessArticle

Fit for the Future? A New Approach in the Debate about What Makes Healthcare Systems Really Sustainable

Institute for Sustainability Governance, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststraße 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 294-312;
Received: 26 May 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 30 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
PDF [925 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


As healthcare systems face enormous challenges, sustainability is seen as a crucial requirement for making them fit for the future. However, there is no consensus with regard to either the definition of the term or the factors that characterize a “sustainable healthcare system”. Therefore, the aim of this article is twofold. First, it gives examples of the existing literature about sustainable healthcare systems and analyzes this literature with regard to its understanding of sustainability and the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. The article then identifies crucial factors for sustainable healthcare systems, and the result, a conceptual framework consisting of five distinct and interacting factors, can be seen as a starting point for further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable healthcare systems; definition; conceptual framework sustainable healthcare systems; definition; conceptual framework

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fischer, M. Fit for the Future? A New Approach in the Debate about What Makes Healthcare Systems Really Sustainable. Sustainability 2015, 7, 294-312.

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