K-P health facilities told to set up waste management systems

Rules stipulate stringent handling mechanism for radioactive waste

Umer Farooq May 21, 2018

PESHAWAR: To maintain hygiene and to dispose of waste generated from hospitals across the province, the provincial government has directed all public and private health facilities to set up waste management committees in line with the rules.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Hospitals Waste Management Rules 2018, stipulate that every hospital – whether public or private — is responsible for the proper management of the waste generated by it until its final disposal in accordance with the rules.

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The rules, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, clearly state that there should be a hospital waste management committee comprising the medical superintended as its chief apart from the heads of all departments, an infection control officer, chief pharmacist, head of the hospitals’ administration besides others as its members.

“The  chief executive, proprietor or, owner or contractor, in case of private hospital, shall be responsible for constituting hospital waste management team by designating doctors, medical and paramedical staff comprising three to five members,” the rules read, adding that the officer in charge of the hospital or clinic (in the event of a veterinary hospital or clinic) shall be responsible for constituting the hospital waste management team by designating veterinary doctors or veterinary assistants comprising three to five members.

After being notified in writing, members of the hospital waste management team, one of the members of the team shall be designated as the waste management officer by the medical superintendent. The officer shall act as the secretary of the team.

The waste management team shall be responsible for the preparation, monitoring, periodic review, revision or updating if necessary and implementation of the waste management plan, and for supervision of all actions taken in compliance with the provision adding every team shall hold a review meeting at least once a month.

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Moreover, the waste management officer shall devise a waste management plan for approval from the team. This plan will have to follow internationally recognised environmental management standards such as the international organization for standardization series.

The plan will only be finalized after consulting a representative of a hospital waste management team who is responsible for the collection and disposal of waste.

“Risky waste shall be separated from non-risk waste at the ward bedside, operation theatre, laboratory or any other room in the hospital where the waste is generated by a doctor, nurse or other people,” the rules said, adding, “Disposal of medical equipment and supplies including syringes, needles, plastic bottles, drips and infusion bags shall be cut or broken and rendered non-reusable at the point of use by the person using them.”

For radioactive waste, the rules state, it will have to be stored to allow decay to background level. It can be placed in a waste bag in a large yellow container or drum labelled as showing the radionuclide’s activity on a given date, and the period storage required, and clearly marked as ‘radioactive waste’ and accompanied by the radioactive symbol.

“Sanitary staff and sanitary workers, when handling waste, shall wear protective clothing at all times including face masks, industrial aprons, leg protectors industrial boots and disposable or heavy duty gloves, as required,” the rules read.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2018.



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