India generates 517 tonnes of medical waste per day, informs health minister

In reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the minister of state health and family welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey mentioned that India generates 517 tonnes of medical waste per day. The minister also informed that more than 90 per cent of health care facilities dispose their waste to Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility (CBMWTF)

India generates 517 tonnes of medical waste per day, informs health minister

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has informed that as per Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, healthcare facilities should not establish on-site treatment and disposal facility for the treatment of bio-medical waste, if a service of CBMWTF is available at a distance of 75 kms.

In case where service of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF) is not available, the occupiers shall set up requisite bio-medical waste treatment facility and shall install treatment and disposal equipment like incinerator, autoclave, microwave, shredder, etc.

It was further mentioned that, ‘Out of 517 tons/day of bio-medical waste generated, 500 tons/day of waste is being treated and disposed by 199 no. of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment and Disposal facilities and 15,181 no. of captive treatment facilities installed by (Health Care Facilities) HCFs.’

‘About 15,181 of Health Care Facilities (HCFs) are having captive bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities, which are involved in treatment and disposal of bio-medical waste. State-wise details of HCFs having captive treatment facilities is given at Annexure.’

Nitin Karmalkar, HoD at department of Environment in Pune University, said, “Many hospitals still do not have adequate facilities for segregation and collection of bio-medical waste. Every healthcare facilities should have adequate facilities such as colour coded bins, colour coded bags, covered trolleys, waste central storage facility, personal protection equipment etc. for safe segregation.”

“Bio-medical waste is more harmful to health than household waste is a common fact, but regulation of bio-medical waste is still poor. Also, there are many studies that have shown that how harmful chemicals enter food chain and threatens our health. Every state should have strict regulation over bio-medical waste and should punish those who are not following guidelines,” Karmalkar said.