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Issue 29
, 2010
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Hospitals get notices on waste disposal

Source: The Tribune, Date: , 2010

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has issued a show cause notice to the city’s Christian Medical College & Hospital regarding gross violations of the Biomedical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 1998. The board, which in 2002 had granted authorisation to the hospital under the rules’ provisions for a period of one year, refused to renew it in 2005 after some objections were raised.

However, instead of taking up the matter with PPCB, the hospital has not bothered to apply for renewal of the authorisation since then.

However, what is surprising is the fact that the seven violations that the hospital has been accused of in the board’s notice are in contravention of the functioning of a reputed medical institution.

The objections include the absence of needle destroyers in all the hospital wards and improper segregation of biomedical waste, with wastebaskets being used in some places instead of coloured bags for segregation, which are mandatory under the rules.

The discarded biomedical along with solid waste, which was being disposed of at the municipal corporation - as was witnessed by PPCB inspectors during a surprise check at CMCH, also figures in the violations mentioned in the notice issued to the hospital.

Disposal of waste glass and plastic bottles without autoclaving and shredding is another major violation pointed out by the board.

It is mandatory for every hospital to submit details of biomedical waste generated there under various categories, but PPCB records state CMCH had not submitted the required details after 2005.

Meanwhile, Ashley Isaiah, medical superintendent (general) at CMCH, admitted to "minor discrepancies" in observing the Biomedical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, which he said would be “taken care” of at the earliest.

"Our sincere intentions are to comply with the laws as none of the violations mentioned in the PPCB report were deliberately committed. Even then, we have already initiated an intensive training programme for the nursing and paramedical staff at the hospital to make sure they abide by every rule prescribed under the rules”, he went on to add.