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November 19, 2015

EPD action against hospitals


November 19, 2015

The Environment Protection Department (EPD) Punjab has started its campaign against all public and private hospitals for implementation of Hospital Waste Management Rules (HWMR) after end of 15 days deadline, The News has learnt.
The EPD officials said the advisory warning was communicated 15 days ago in a meeting held at EPD head office to the heads of all public hospitals of Lahore as well as the representatives of Punjab Health Department for communicating this to all the district and tehsil level government hospitals.
In the meeting called by the EPD, Punjab EPA DG Dr Javed Iqbal directed all the medical superintendents of all the public hospitals in Lahore and representatives of Punjab Health Department that a legal action would be initiated after the deadline against the hospitals for not adopting the HWMR.
On Wednesday, as per the directives of EPD Secretary Dr Iqbal Chohan, Punjab EPA DG Dr Javed Iqbal along with MPA Ch Shahbaz and Director Naseem-ur-Rehman Shah raided Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital and issued a show-cause notice to the hospital administration for not implementing the hospital waste management rules there.
The cleanliness condition was not up to the mark while the hospital waste was also placed openly in waste bins placed in different areas of the hospital. During the raid, EPA DG Javed Iqbal pointed out that most of the HWMR were not being adopted in the Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital while the condition of several medical wards was also found filthy and unhygienic.
EPD authorities had asked the Health Department officials to implement the HWMR by constituting a four-member committee at every hospital level to deal with the issue but no committee was constituted at Kot Khawaja Hospital so far. However, the hospital authorities, in response, claimed that the committee was already constituted and working as per rules on which the EPD authorities questioned them.
After the Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital inspection,

the EPA squad also inspected a plastic waste recycling godown in China Scheme and sealed it on the spot after they found hospital waste being recycled there. DG Dr Javed issued directives to seal the godown and warned its owner Malik Waseem not to repeat the practice again. Talking to the media, DG Dr Javed Iqbal said the EPD authorities had given a 15-day deadline to all the hospitals and health authorities for constituting the committees and submission of the meeting minutes to the EPD and now strict action will be initiated against those for not following the HWMR. The DG made it clear that action will be initiated against those who failed to abide by the rules.
EPA Director Naseem-ur-Rehman said non-implementation of rules is resulting in spread of contagious diseases in the masses, especially various forms of hepatitis. He said EPD had already issued directives to the health authorities to introduce the yellow and white coloured waste disposal bags for proper segregation of risk and non-risk waste at the hospital level. EPA launched its crackdown against the big and small private hospitals, medical centres, clinics, pathology laboratories and other health related businesses for not implementing HWMR and they are also bound to submit the details of their ways of disposing of the clinical and medical waste as well as equipment used on their premises. Not even a single medical facility will be tolerated for not implementing HWMR, he added.

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