Clinical waste disposal in India – how bad can they get?

CHANDIGARH: A task of unclogging drains belched out hundreds of used syringes at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, on Saturday, indicating that something was wrong in the disposal of biomedical waste in the institution.

 The road in front of A Block was waterlogged following the heavy rain. Workers were called to clean three sewers. When they finished their job, piles of syringes were lying stacked at three different locations, leaving experts shocked.
The director of Chandigarh Pollution Control Board, said someone in the hospital could be selling biomedical waste to scrap dealers. “The institute seems not to be following the correct disposal method. It is just not possible to imagine waste in drains or on roadside in the hospital,” he added.
The CPCB director said he had a word with the medical superintendent after the Times of India reported about the seizure of two tonnes of biomedical waste from a scrap dealer, who had claimed he had got it from GMCH. A meeting will be held with the three hospitals on Monday and they will be asked about the disposal of waste.


We on the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum have been reporting for several years how bad things are in ISC. Corruption, laziness and sheer stupidity seem to be the root causes. For so often, international agencies have thrown money at these countries in the hope of raising standards, and so often those funds have simply been misappropriated.
Perhaps this and other examples make it appropriate that the WHO or World Bank step in to enforce better environmental and safety standards.
It cannot be too early for some whip cracking. Indeed, it is probably long overdue and the only way to effect change.

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