The State government has revised the rates for the collection of biomedical waste from government and private hospitals from Rs. 26 to Rs. 39 per kg.
The increase has come after five years. This means that all hospitals will have to pay more for the disposal of their hazardous waste.
At Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH), the revised rates came into effect from September 1. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the new rates has been signed with Tamil Nadu Waste Management Limited – the agency that has been collecting and safely disposing of biomedical waste in parts of the State since 2008.
Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital has also put in place the new rates as per the direction of the government, said doctors.
Officials said Tamil Nadu Waste Management Ltd had approached the government for a revision of rate as fuel prices had gone up.
“The agency has been seeking a revision of rates for the last year, mainly due to the rising cost of diesel,” said T.N. Ravishankar, past State secretary of the Indian Medical Association-Tamil Nadu.
For big hospitals, the increase will entail having to expand their budgets. GH for instance, generates 10,015 kg of biomedical waste per month – 6,000 kg of needles and dressing material, 4,000 kg of ampoules, vials and other sharp implements and 15 kg of anatomical waste including placenta and amputated body parts, said GH dean V. Kanagasabai said.
“Among government and private hospitals across the State, GH is the largest contributor of biomedical waste since we have 2,722 beds and perform about 140 surgeries daily,” he said. The Rs. 13 hike will lead to the disposal agency earning Rs. 1,30,195 more every month from GH alone.
However, since the government has sanctioned Rs. 26,36,000 in the 2012-13 GH budget solely to pay for the safe disposal of biomedical waste, this would not be a problem, he said.
“The waste is safely disposed of with the help of incinerators, autoclaves, shredders and an effluent treatment plant,” Dr. Kanagasabai said.