Policy Matter

Disposal and Recycling of Medical Wastes

Public health being a State subject, it is the primary responsibility of the concerned State/UT governments to take appropriate actions for proper management and disposal of bio-medical waste at public health facilities through the State Pollution medical-wastesControl Boards in pursuance of Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The Pollution Control Boards/Committees are empowered to ensure the compliance of provisions of these rules. Further, in so far as major hospitals like AIIMS are concerned; they are managing their Bio-medical wastes in accordance with Biomedical Waste Rules 1998 and Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

National Guidelines on Hospital Waste Management based on Bio-medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 have been developed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and circulated to all State/UT in the year 2002 for implementation.

Further, in addition, a National Policy Framework document and Operational Guidelines for Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Sub-centres have also been developed by MoHFW in 2007, for implementation of Infection Management and Environment Plan (IMEP) under Reproductive and Child Health Programme, to address the issues relating to infection control and waste management.

Under National Health Mission (NHM), financial assistance is provided to State/UTs Governments within their resource envelope for Bio-medical waste management and infection control activities in public health facilities based on their proposals in Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) of NHM. This includes support for Civil Works for Operationalising Infection Management & Environment Plan at health facilities, Human Resource for Biomedical waste management activities such as Incinerator Operators, procurement of equipment such as trolleys, autoclaves, incinerators, colour coded bins, and buckets etc., IMEP training of medical officers, district and state programme managers, health staffs etc., in Biomedical Waste Management Practices, IMEP protocols and activities.

Further, Government of India has recently released ‘Operational Guidelines for National Quality Assurance in Public Health Facilities’ for supporting states’ efforts to improve the quality in District Hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres wherein all State/UTs have been requested to get their facilities certified as per National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS) which inter alia requires the facilities to conform to Bio-medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. A provision of incentives has also been made for the facilities which are able to achieve and retain the certification.

In major Central Government Hospitals like AIIMS regular trainingprogramme are conducted in biomedical waste management for all categories of Health Workers. Information, Education and Communication activities are undertaken regularly to bring awareness about safe and effective bio-medical waste management amongst the hospital staff.

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