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Times of India
21 January 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Pune, India

Hospitals Not Using Scientific Ways To Dispose Of Bio–Medical Waste
Bio-medical Waste
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued show–cause notices to 177 health care establishments (clinics and hospitals) in Solapur district for not seeking mandatory authorisation for generation of bio–medical waste (BMW) besides not availing common bio–medical waste treatment and disposal facility for scientific incineration of BMW generated at their units. The drive will continue in the days to come across the Pune region.

The move assumes significance as a large number of clinics and hospitals in the region have still not sought the essential authorisation required for BMW generation from the board.

“Total 177 newly identified clinical establishments were issued show–cause notices on Tuesday. They will have to comply with the pollution norms within seven days, failing which they will have to face legal action as well as closure,” said P K Mirashe, regional officer of MPCB, Pune region, on Tuesday. The board, in its drive to ensure stringent application of BMW norms, has embarked upon shortlisting clinical establishments in Pune region who have not sought the mandatory authorisation for generation of BMW as well not subscribed to common incineration facility, added Mirashe.

It is obligatory on the part of all clinical establishments to obtain authorisation under Bio Medical Waste (management and handling) Rules, 1998 and amendment thereof. It is also mandatory on their part to submit an undertaking and also treat the BMW waste generated at their units as per the act, said Mirashe.

“As per norms, bedded hospitals including clinics treating more than 1,000 patients per month have to seek authorisation from the board. Whereas non–bedded clinics treating less than 1,000 patients per month will have to submit an undertaking to the board,” said Mirashe.

These 177 clinics and hospitals in Solapur district have not submitted the undertaking, neither have obtained membership of common bio–medical waste treatment and disposal facility of their area nor provided for scientific treatment and disposal arrangement for the BMW generated at their unit on their own, said Mirashe. “Of them, the number of erring hospitals is 127 while there are 50 clinics who were found to have violated the norms,” said Mirashe.

They have been instructed to apply for the same within seven days and start sending BMW to common facility by obtaining membership or provide facility on their own. Failing which, necessary action will be initiated against them, said Mirashe.

Considering serious lapses in the disposal and management of BMW generated by clinical establishments in the region, the board, after Supreme Court’s directive, prepared a region–wise inventory of all bio–medical waste generating units by outsourcing the work of preparing the inventory to an agency.

“The intention of the board was to identify bio medical waste generating unit which do not figure in the existing inventory of the board and to update the region wise inventory,” Mirashe said.

The move helped in consolidating the surveillance system of the board in respect of bio medical waste, said Mirashe. The move has brought every hospital, clinic and diagnostic centre on the list of the board, following which it has become possible to keep a tab on the bio–medical waste generated at these units, Mirashe added.

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