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Unenforced and Old Fashion Waste Regulations Causing Problems for Healthcare Facilities

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Hospitals are in trouble due to waste regulation

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 11:57


Hospitals, clinics, laboratories, veterinary, beauty salons and SPAs are struggling to comply with an old-fashioned legislation that has not been enforced. This is the mandatory treatment of hospital waste before being taken to a dump, through four alternatives: chemical disinfection, thermal sterilization, irradiation and incineration.

The administration of former president Ernesto Pérez Balladares was the creator of the Executive Decree 111 of 1999, but that same government suspended the entry into force of this regulation. Pérez Balladares issued Resolution 001 of 2009 that allowed to keep taking “temporarily” unprocessed hospital waste to Cerro Patacón. But it was not until this year that the administration of Juan Carlos Varela issued resolution 560 that suspended the Resolution of 2009 that allowed to dump without control hospital trash in Cerro Patacón.

Even the legislation that has just come into force requires hospitals and other businesses to take measures and implement special infrastructures for the temporary storage of their solid waste, said Edgardo Villalobos Jaén, deputy director general of Environmental Health of the Ministry of Health.

Villalobos warned that medical centers that do not comply with this regulation will be sanctioned and should close their operations. "Hospitals must generate their solutions, they provide medical and diagnostic services, waste control is another requirement to operate a health facility. If they cannot give the solution then they should consider closing the hospital service. The hospital waste control service is a comprehensive part of the administration of the facility,"said the official of the Ministry of Health.

The regulations have represented a problem for large and small private hospitals in the country since the options of hiring the private services of companies specializing in these treatments are limited. The second alternative for hospitals and laboratories is to make their own investments to treat their hazardous waste.

The Ministry of Health only identifies or has recorded four private companies that can provide treatment service to the trash of hospitals, veterinaries or beauty salons: CEDINC, S.A.; Auramek; Servicios Tecnológicos de Incineración (Incineration Technology Services); and CEMEX.

The entity clarified that there are other companies that only collect this type of waste: PUMPER, S.A.; Auramek Engineering, INC; Equipos y Construcciones S.A .; Pronto Aseo; and Servicios Tecnológicos de Incineración.

Villalobos said that if hospitals or businesses decide to make their own investment, there are companies that supply other equipment such as autoclaves, and other technological alternatives "to treat these wastes in each health facility”.

So far, there is no official control over compliance with the regulation that undertakes to treat hospital or hazardous waste.

"The Ministry of Health had received information that some were controlling the waste. In this situation, it has been seen the use of collection services without treatment, requiring and additional payment. These services are in private hands, the government does not provide these services," said Villalobos.

The official highlighted that hospitals should find the solution to this mandatory requirement. "Should the government ensure that citizens comply with the law?

And if they cannot comply with the law, should they be allowed to do so? Waste collection and treatment has been standardized since 1999. The question is: medical directors of all hospitals, clinics, laboratory managers, veterinarians, etc. either public or private were ignorant of this important Decree signed in 1999 by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Health, published in the Official Gazette? Hospital directors are responsible for waste accumulation, as set forth in Article 65 of Decree 111 of 1999," said Villalobos.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Unenforced and Old Fashion Waste Regulations Causing Problems for Healthcare Facilities

Hard to believe in this day and age.   Hospitals should have their own incinerators.  What is pictured there is a recipe for epidemic.  When I studied nursing I read about Florence Nightingale  and the conditions in the Crimean War.   What I learned was what you see in that picture.   Infectious material was tossed in a ditch dug beside the hospital .  Many soldiers died from infection that came from the flies from the ditches. 

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" Nearly 80% of soldiers admitted to these hospitals ( in the Crimean War 1854 ) died from infections from being in the hospitals, not from their original wounds. Florence Nightingale helped to dramatically change these issues with improvement in hygiene and sanitation in hospitals, which helped drop the rates of infections. After the war, Nightingale set out on a campaign to modernize hospitals. She had a large influence on hospital design and nursing practices used today. "

 1854 was before the discovery of germs (  ...bacteria, viruses etc. ) being the direct cause of infection.   To see this pile of rotting infectious material (no doubt covered in flies)  in the Republic of Panama in this day and age is criminal.  This to me should be brought to the attention of the World Health Organization.   I am astounded by it.



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16 hours ago, TwoSailors said:


Absolute criminal negligence .  The citizens of this country should be outraged by this and as well VERY concerned about exactly how huge rusting canisters of chemical weapon material will be removed safely off San Jose' island in the Pearl Island just off Panama City. Both those issues are enough to get folks blocking the Panamerican highway in protest !


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