Private hospitals in Telangana grapple with growing bio-medical waste load
- A 100-bed hospital is spending nearly Rs 5 lakh for disposal of bio-medical waste
- Whether the bed is occupied or not the increased charges are applicable, posing a financial burden on private hospitals
- Biomedical waste disposal involves segregation in colour-coded disposal bags, storing them in separate segregation areas, transferring to disposal containers
WAR AGAINST WASTE…
♦ Sanitation staff are reluctant to work and collect waste and trash from Covid wards due to infection fears
♦ Hospitals had to contact agencies for disposal for medical waste which charge more
♦ The cost has increased by 2.5 to 3 times when compared to pre-Covid period
Hyderabad: Bio-medical waste disposal has been a big challenge for private hospitals for the last few months in the corona pandemic. While sanitation staff is reluctant to work and collect waste and trash from covid wards due to infection fears, hospitals had to deal with increased costs of the waste collection during this period.
The cost has increased by 2.5 to 3 times when compared to pre-covid period. A 100-bed hospital is spending nearly Rs 5 lakh for disposal of bio-medical waste. Biomedical waste is generated from biological and medical sources and activities, such as the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases. The process involves segregation in colour-coded disposal bags, storing them in separate segregation areas, transferring to disposal containers as well as disposing PPEs in addition to disposal agency costs.
KT Devanand, CEO of a noted corporate hospital stated that biomedical waste disposal costs have risen due to increased agency costs for disposal. Also, the cost of consumables/disposal materials have gone higher and it did not help our cause, he added.
When covid cases were on the rise and private hospitals started admitting Covid patients from June, sanitation and housekeeping of covid wards was a big issue. Due to infection fears, staff was not willing to work in covid wards only.
Devanand said that there were some apprehensions from the staff initially but after training, they have taken it up.
Assurances like extra allowance per duty, free treatment at our hospital itself, free food for all staff working in isolation areas helped in changing their mindset. Also, frequent interactions with the leadership team and motivation by providing visibility to the teams by displaying their photos in all the in-house branding like TVs also helped a lot, he added.
If that was the situation in corporate hospitals in GHMC limits, private hospitals in districts also faced similar problems. According to V Rakesh, president of Telangana Private Network Hospitals Association, bio-medical waste management cost rates witnessed an exorbitant increase. Whether the bed was occupied or not the increased charges were applicable posing a financial burden on private hospitals that were already reeling with a slew of issues already in corona pandemic, he added.