ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mismanaging Hospital Waste


Although the central government has passed relevant legislation and the Supreme Court has issued directives for the safe disposal of hospital wastes, few of the capital's hospitals ensure that the massive amount of potentially hazardous waste they produce is consigned safely.

Medical institutions in Delhi are confronted with a number of managerial and financial constraints in installing incinerators for the disposal of waste. Besides, there are a number of other factors responsible for the mismanagement of hospital waste such as (i) delay in waste disposal, (ii) improper segregation of waste, (iii) inadequate and untrained staff engaged in segregation of waste, and (iv) lack of incinerators and autoclaves for the disposal of waste. Mismanagement of hospital waste leads to serious health problems like cancer, HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis infections, etc.

Delhi has innumerable hospitals and clinics, which treat lakhs of patients every day. There are 27 big hospitals and 55 medium-sized hospitals and about 2,500 nursing homes and dispensaries. It has 40,000 hospital beds of which 20,000 beds are in the government sector. The waste generation is about 1.5 kg per bed which comes about 60 tonnes of waste per day. Surprisingly, these hospitals do not have trained staff and segregation systems and infectious wastes put together into the incinerators, resulting air pollution in the city.

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