Two different instances of mismanagement of medical waste in the country have appeared in the newspapers last week and it is ironical to note that ht every hospitals which are meant to cure diseases are playing a major role in spreading them. Following are
the excerpts form two reports:
Pioneer, 13th June - The increasing number of private hospitals, nursing homes running in Noida, do not care to dispose off surgical waste. Most of these hospitals lack the facility used to dispose them. All hospitals are required to treat such waste in
an incinerator (an electric furnace used to treat incinerated refuse), and despite being given repeated notices by the Noida authority and state pollution board, no action has been taken so far. The city which has a large number of private hospitals, nursing
homes, maternity centers, dental clinics and pathological centers have not been able to equip themselves with safety measures required to protect and conserve the environment. Among over a dozen big private hospitals and hundreds of other small hospitals,
only a very few can boast of having the incinerator for disposal of the surgical waste. In the process a lot of the non-biodegradable material is burned to ashes. The medical care centers of the city claim to have state-of-art medical equipments but throw
the surgical wastes on roadside.
The Indian Express, 13th June - Having given the job of disposing bio-medical waste to a private agency, authorities of Krishna Heart Hospital, Ahemdabad, might think that their job is over. But, they do not seem to know a part of the infectious and non-infectious
waste generated at the hospital is finding its way to Thaltej Chokwdi where rag-pickers live. From here, hazardous waste like syringes, saline bottles, medicine bottles and stained bandages are bought by scrap dealers who are likely to resell the material
back in the market. Authorities of Krishna hospital at Ghuma village deny the allegation. ''This just can't be true,'' says Joint Medical Director Dr Animesh Chowksi, adding, ''There is some confusion that needs to be sorted.'' The Medical Superintendent,
Joint Medical Director and Public Relations Officer, all insist they have given the contract to dispose bio-medical waste to a private agency. But none of them can ''clearly'' remember the name of the agency. Meanwhile, part of the hospital waste is thrown
in an empty plot adjoining the hospital. Earlier, rag-picker Adraben Kadar and her mother used to get polythene sacks full of waste material from here. ''We used to leave our house at 4 am on a three-wheel paddle cart. We'd reach the hospital at 7 am and wait
for the sweepers to throw the sacks out,'' said Adraben, who would then bring the bags back to Bhamaria village, half-a-kilometer away from Thaltej. They would segregate the waste into plastic, glass and cotton, and then sell it off to a scrap dealer who resides
in the same area. When contacted, Sanjeev Tyagi, member secretary of GPCB said ''as per rules, hazardous hospital waste has to be incinerated. First thing on Monday, I will send my men to the hospital and to Thaltej to verify the matter. If the allegation
is found to be true, the hospital authorities will be prosecuted.