We cannot forget the many failings in satisfactory clinical waste management reported on the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum with reports from the UK, from north and south America, Europe and Asia, the ISC, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
However, to date northern and Eastern Europe has been excluded though we might find it hard to believe that an absence of reports equates to uniformly good practice.
Not all failures are critical in nature, though of course some are. Many point to a general and more diffuse decline in hygiene and safety standards, or poor management performance. Others are, we hope, one-offs.
But some are truly awful. As in the case of reports coming to us from Siberia, of vast quantities of yellow sack clinical waste from several Omsk hospitals dumped on the surface of a landfill site and part-burned in situ. To make matters worse, the bag were left to stand for days or longer and contained tissue wastes including aborted foetuses. This provided carrion for wild dogs and for birds, who fed openly on the remains.
It is claimed that the bags were wrongly dumped by a company called “Institute of Ecological Problems” – and you just couldn’t make that up, could you? Just what sort of problems were they contracted to create?