PHC consultation on implementation of MSDS for hospital waste

LAHORE - The Punjab Healthcare Commission held a consultative meeting with all the key stakeholders concerned with implementation of the Minimum Service Delivery Standards related to the Punjab Hospital Waste Management Rules 2014.

The meeting was chaired by Chief Operating Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, and the proceedings were conducted by Director Clinical Governance and Organisational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya, who also briefed the participants about applicable laws, responsibilities of the departments, local bodies, municipal and town committees and various functionaries in Hospitals. Senior officers of the related Government departments, representatives from solid waste management companies and managers of the private hospitals from all over Punjab participated.

Dr Salariya apprised those attending of their legal obligations and the role of the PHC in improving the delivery of quality healthcare services and ensuring the safety of patients and service providers through the implementation of hospital infection control protocols, pertinent laws, etc.

The participants discussed issues being faced by the hospitals, and stressed that all agencies and departments actively play their assigned roles to ensure proper disposal of infectious waste on regular basis. Participants recommended that awareness and training be imparted to the staff concerned to ensure implementation of the rules and regulations and establish robust onsite and offsite monitoring to check pilferage. The participants were apprised that there is a need to enhance inter-agency coordination and collaboration and to activate provincial Advisory Committee and the Divisional and District Supervisory Committees for enhanced monitoring. The meeting also highlighted that the Provincial Sustainable Development Fund be operationalised.

In order to resolve the issues of interpretation of international guidelines vis-a-vis Punjab Hospital Waste Management Rules 2014, it was decided to constitute a technical working group comprising representatives of the PHC, Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Environment Protection Department and Hepatitis Control Program for clarifying required actions and roles of responsible executing agencies. Also, all hospitals are to ensure proper constitution of Waste Management Teams and designation of duties and roles to be performed by each member and responsible persons. It was appreciated that the Punjab Environmental Protection Council had been made functional and had conducted three meetings during the last year.

While welcoming the participants, Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that prior to the PHC, Hospital Waste Management was not considered to be a major issue, and most of the HCEs were ignorant about the rules. He mentioned different steps taken by the PHC for ensuring quality in health service delivery and the safety of patients and the population at large. He specifically talked about the trainings of healthcare establishments, which were aimed at improving the health services.

“The waste management must not be considered ‘business as usual’, and all concerned must join hands,” he added. 

Director Licensing and Accreditation PHC Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua shared data, findings and observations from the inspections of hospitals, to sensitise the participants about the gravity of the situation.

Dr ZahidaSarwar Manager Hepatitis Control Program briefed about the steps taken to ensure hospital infection control by providing logistics, support and equipment for appropriate segregation, storage, and transportation of Hospital Waste. “The program has taken up installation of double chamber incinerators for infectious waste disposal in all 36 districts,” she added. She also demonstrated the web-based tracking software being used to monitor hospital waste disposal and to stop its pilferage.

Assistant Director EPD Maryam Khan highlighted the steps being taken for monitoring hospital waste management in the hospitals and the final disposal offsite.


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