India is the 2nd most populated country in the world. Population of India is increasing at a tremendous rate. Proportionately, the numbers of people seeking health care are increasing. In that ratio the quantities of hospital wastes, in wider terms, healthcare wastes that are getting generated is also increasing. Current methods for the safe disposal of healthcare wastes are not able to cope up with the rate of generation of healthcare wastes and moreover are not eco-friendly at all. Due to this, the current rules and regulations regarding the safe disposal of healthcare wastes are getting violated, ultimately leading to improper management of healthcare wastes, posing a serious threat to the environment and to the community.
To develop a novel, sustainable and beneficial system for the systematic management of healthcare wastes utilizing the strategies of waste reduction, waste segregation and recycling of Non Hazardous Hospital Wastes (NHHWs).
Materials and Methods
Firstly a detailed study of the Healthcare Waste Management System (HCWMS) operational at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre was done. A pilot study was then performed. After that, data regarding the generation and management of healthcare wastes in the other healthcare settings was collected and analyzed. Considering all this, a novel, sustainable and beneficial template system for the systematic management of healthcare wastes was proposed. Lastly the possible positive impacts from the implementation of HCWMSs designed using proposed template HCWMS in significant numbers of healthcare establishments was gauged.
The healthcare waste management system operational at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre was found to be very efficient and provided vital inputs about developing the novel HCWMS. The pilot study was successfully completed generating significant revenue from the hospital’s own NHHWs while managing them in an eco-friendly way. The total healthcare waste generation in Maharashtra was approximately estimated at about 2,89,200kg/day of which about 43,380kg/day was Bio-Medical Wastes (BMWs) while about 2,45,820kg/day were the NHHWs. This stresses the need of implementing HCWMSs in Healthcare Establishments (HCEs) based on the proposed novel template of HCWMS.
The novel template system is proposed in a detailed manner under various heads in the form of a handbook which is scalable upwards or downwards as per the requirement of a HCE. The enormous economic and environmental positive impacts from the implementation of the HCWMSs based on the proposed HCWMS in significant numbers of HCEs were presented numerically, putting light on the necessity and tremendous potential of this field of research.