Public hospital’s medical waste facility not fully operational

The Ministry of Health has said the hydroclave system, which processes biomedical waste from medical facilities in the city, has been installed but is not yet fully operational.

In a press release, Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy said the system will bring the processing of such waste up to international standards and it is the first such facility in the Caribbean.

A special sanitation truck has been procured to transport waste from the various sites to the processing centre and plans are in train to collect waste from the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, the Leonora and West Demerara hospitals and several large health centres in regions Three and Four for processing at the site.

However, the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) is not able to start full operation of the hydroclave as it is still in the process of procuring an “automated bucket” to transport waste from the truck and from waste containers into the system. The automated bucket is being bought at about $8M and it is expected to be in place by August month end.

Ramsammy said the system “represents a paradigm shift in the way we process biomedical waste” which it has been committed to realising in collaboration with the World Bank and Global Fund. The ministry said too the automated incinerator at the New Amsterdam Hospital has been processing biomedical waste from there and other hospitals and health facilities in Region Six. Ramsammy also said while incinerators without automated controls have been built at some health facilities in Region Five, “there is need for more comprehensive management of biomedical wastes in [the] region.” Waste from Region Five will be sent both to the New Amsterdam incinerator and the GPHC Hydroclave.

In Region Three, waste will be managed by the Guyanese-built incinerators following models designed with the help of PAHO/WHO. However, waste from the Leonora and West Demerara hospitals will be transported for processing at the hydroclave. The ministry is also planning to build an incinerator at the Mabaruma Hospital shortly.

The ministry said a comprehensive plan for the management of biomedical waste was put in place and is set to be functioning by the end of 2012.

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