HEALTHCARE WASTE MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY OF HEALTH-PROMOTING HOSPITALS
Free (open access)
389 - 398
SINEENART PUANGMANEE, MOLTIYA JEARANAI
Healthcare waste management from health-promoting hospitals in some local areas of Thailand is weakly regulated. Pollution from the waste originates from poor management, ineffective control, and unsuitable disposal. We reviewed the management of healthcare waste at health-promoting hospitals and aimed to study the type and quantity of healthcare waste, storage, collection, transfer, transportation and disposal. Six hospitals were selected and prioritized from a district in a province in the upper part of southern Thailand. All waste was classified into two types: waste from treated patients (general waste, hazardous and infectious waste) and waste from untreated patients (domestic and hazardous waste). The highest percentage of waste from treated patients was 68.20% and waste from untreated patients was 86.60%. The waste from treated patients at all hospitals was put into red plastic bags and placed inside stainless steel or plastic garbage cans. The waste materials were then transferred daily by hospital employees. They wore protective equipment while working. The waste from untreated patients was put into black plastic bags and placed inside plastic or stainless steel garbage cans. The waste materials were transferred the same way as the waste from treated patients. Waste from the treated patients was then transported by a hospital employee who wore unsuitable protective equipment. The waste materials were collected from all health-promoting hospitals once a week by pickup truck and moved to a single hospital in the district where it waited for transportation to an incineration plant in central Thailand. The waste from untreated patients was transported by employees of the sub-district administrative organization. They also wore unsuitable protective equipment while working. The waste from untreated patients was transported by compact garbage truck and moved for disposal in two open dump sites in the local area. Although the waste materials were basically controlled and managed by the guidelines, some of the handling processes were incorrect and ineffective. Therefore, everyone involved in healthcare waste management from the top down need to strictly practice the guidelines according to the laws for a better environment.
healthcare waste, healthcare waste management, health-promoting hospitals