Hospitals, nursing homes cautioned on handling biomedical waste in Tiruchirapalli

S. Ram Ganesh, Department of Microbiology, KAPV Government Medical College, addressing a gathering of doctors got up by IMA on handling biomedical waste in Tiruchi on Thursday. Photo: T. Muralitharan  

All hospitals and nursing homes in the city have to strictly comply with the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 or face penal action, City Health Officer S. Mariappan cautioned on Thursday.

Issuing a stern warning to hospitals and doctors in the wake of recent instances of bio medical waste being found mixed with general solid wastes at some hospitals in the city, Dr. Mariappan said the corporation, as the local health authority, had powers to proceed against hospitals for violations under the Indian Penal Code and the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act.

Addressing doctors at an urgent meeting convened by the Indian Medical Association in the city, Dr. Mariappan said the corporation would sustain the recent drive taken up to ensure proper disposal of biomedical waste by hospitals. The drive was necessitated after biomedical waste, including human anatomical waste, was found at the Ariyamangalam garbage dump.

Twenty hospitals were inspected and police complaints filed against five of them for violations. First Information Reports had been filed on two complaints.

Dr. Mariappan said it was the duty of doctors to ensure that bio medical waste generated in their hospitals or nursing homes were properly segregated and disposed through the common treatment facility and suggested that every hospital had a nodal medical officer to supervise the process.

There was a misconception among doctors that only the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board could initiate action against them for violations. “We can apply to the Magistrate to close your premises under the provisions of TN Public Health Act. We have so far refrained from invoking the provisions of the Act, but would do so if hospitals failed to ensure proper disposal of bio medical waste,” he said.

When some of the doctors complained that one common treatment facility was not adequate, Dr. Mariappan said it was set up as per scientific norms. Complaints in this regard could be sent to the TNPCB and the corporation, he said.

He clarified that clinics handling only out patients could segregate and hand over their biomedical waste to nearby hospitals for disposal.

Alternatively, the corporation was willing to provide a common space for the IMA to store biomedical waste from clinics before transported the same to the treatment facility.

The corporation has issued a circular to hospitals and would soon circulate a set of do’s and don’ts on handling bio medical waste, he said.

K.S. Devanathan, president, IMA, Tiruchi, said paramedical personnel of city hospitals were briefed on handling bio medical waste ahead of the meeting.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 11:13:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/hospitals-nursing-homes-cautioned-on-handling-biomedical-waste-in-tiruchirapalli/article6248514.ece

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