State hospitals to prepare plan for bio-medical waste disposal

New Delhi: The state government hospitals will now have to prepare a waste management plan for disposal of bio-medical waste as per the 'Swachhta Guidelines for Public Health Facilities' released by the Centre on Friday.

The new measures from the Union Ministry of Health and Famly Welfare, mandate the state-run hospitals and health care institutions to collect, store, transport and dispose waste in accordance with Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 and any other amendments or notification of the state pollution control board.

The detailed 'Hospital Waste Management Plan' will have to be approved by the nodal officer of the health facility's authorities before start of the work. The responsibility of disposal of hospital waste lies with the head of the facility and to ensure it does not harm to human health and environment, according to the guidelines.

"All infected, chemical, radiation, cytotoxic health care waste will be segregated, collected and stored, transported and disposed as per the set guidelines of safety, ensuring that at no stage it gets mixed with general waste," it says.

Different colour bags or containers namely red, yellow, black, blue will have to be used depending on the category of the waste. It restricts from transferring waste from one bag to another and should be tied when three-fourth full.

The guidelines stipulate that hospitals in small towns and villages may dispose the general waste by deep burial or composting. "Such burial areas should preferably be situated away from populated areas and water points. They should be enclosed to prevent its access by animals," it says. The 'Swachhata Guidelines' aims to achieve quality assurance and provides information on clean health care facilities by specifying products and procedures of cleanliness and disposal of waste in hospitals.

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