Health Care Units Directed to Install Bio-Medical Wastes Treatment Facilities

Bio-medical waste has been defined as any waste "which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities".

The Central Pollution Control Board has directed the State Pollution Control Boards and the Pollution Control Committees in the Union Territories to initiate necessary legal action against those health care units, which have not installed and commissioned requisite facilities for the treatment of their bio-medical wastes by June 30, 2000. All the States and Union Territories have also been asked to submit the action taken Report against the polluting hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities by July 30, 2000.

Indian Council of Medical Research and Director General of Health Services have also been requested to help in this regard by introducing a formal course of bio-medical waste management in the curricula for medical graduates and para-medical staff. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been asked to join hands in this endeavour by promoting the installation of common bio-medical waste disposal facilities among its members wherever possible.

As per the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, any health care institution in the cities having, population more than 30 lakhs or all hospitals with bed strength more than 500 are required to install and commission requisite facilities like incinerator, autoclave, microwave system for the treatment of their bio-medical wastes by June 30, 2000. All the health care facilities are required to provide bio-medical waste disposal facilities latest by December 31, 2002. The health care institutions include hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories and blood banks.