HYDERABAD: In a first, the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) ordered on Friday the closure of Wali Bhai Rajputana Hospital, one of the largest and oldest charity hospitals in the city, for allegedly violating environmental protection laws.
A day earlier, Sepa had passed the Environment Protection Order (EPO), which forced the hospital management to close its operations within a month.
Moreover, the hospital has been also barred from admitting new patients.
“One month has been given so that patients who are already admitted or getting medical help are not be affected by the action,” SEPA regional director Munir Abbassi told The Express Tribune.
“It is the first hospital in Sindh to face such treatment due to a violation of the Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014,” he explained.
The provincial environment protection agency claimed that the closure orders for Wali Bhai Rajputana Hospital were released after its management failed to address repeated notices sent by the agency.
A request was made with the hospital high-ups to send an official to attend a hearing in this matter on January 30th but no official ever turned up, the Sepa official added.
He insisted that other hospitals in the region of Hyderabad would also meet a similar fate if they continued to violate the law.
The Sindh government had established Sepa to maintain a clean and healthy environment and to come down hard on the offenders of the environment laws.
Under Sepa, hospitals in Sindh are barred from disposing of hazardous hospital waste in an open or public area that could pose threats to human health and the environment.
Instead, the hospitals are stipulated to install incinerators and follow safe hospital waste handling and disposal procedures as suggested by Sepa.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2017.