The lone incinerator used for treating waste produced by public hospitals in the City has not been functioning properly due to power outages, The Express Tribune has learnt.
“Even when the incinerator at the Children’s Hospital runs at full capacity it cannot dispose of all the waste produced by public hospitals,” a doctor at the Children’s Hospital told The Express Tribune.
He said, “For the last few days, the incinerator isn’t running most of the time because of power outages. It’s difficult for the hospital administration to run the operation theatres on generators let alone running an incinerator.”
There are only two incinerators to dispose of hazardous hospital waste in Lahore. The one at Shalimar Hospital is used to deal with private hospitals’ waste.
According to the Environment Protection Department (EDP), public hospitals in Lahore produce five kg waste per patient on average. It says two incinerators are insufficient.
“There are 200 cases pending with the environmental tribunal against hospitals for not disposing of their waste properly, including Mayo Hospital, Jinnah Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,” said EPD spokesman Naseemur Rehman.“We have fined many hospitals for not complying with Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005,” he added. Rehman said it was important for hospitals to dispose of waste properly or else it could spread several infectious diseases including hepatitis.
Sterilisation at teaching hospitals in the City is also not being done properly due to the massive load shedding.
“Autoclaves that run on gas are functional but even gas load shedding is taking its toll. Electric autoclaves aren’t running for the last several weeks delaying several important operations,” said a doctor at Mayo Hospital.
“The lives of patients as well as those of doctors performing the surgery are at risk if medical equipment is not properly sterilised. They are prone to contracting disease,” he said.
Young Doctors Association (YDA) leader Dr Salman Kazmi said hospital administrations were also to blame for mismanagement.
“In 2008, Shahbaz Sharif gave Rs4 billion for the installation of air conditioners at public hospitals. Half of those are now out of order now simply because there is no maintenance and repair department at these hospitals,” he said.“The hospital administration can definitely run the affairs better…it’s about making an effort and having a vision.” Kazmi said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ