No biomedical waste treatment plant at SUM!

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Bhubaneswar: More skeletons tumbled out of the skeleton of SUM hospital’s cupboard on Tuesday as it came to fore that the referral hospital was operating without a biomedical waste treatment plant. These plants are necessary to treat the waste, generated from the hospital on a daily basis.

Locals allege that the drain which originates from the hospital and passes through their locality stinks very often. Many a times they have found human flesh, fetuses and anatomical wastes in the drain. Complaints before the hospital authorities have fallen into deaf ears.

“Ever since the hospital became operational, the drain has been emanating pungent smell and this has made our life miserable. In summer and winter the drain water dries up midway and doesn’t affect us much. But the situation worsens in rainy season when it overflows and spills into our locality. It is completely unbearable to stay. Then our locality becomes uninhabitable,” Chittaranjan Pattnayak, a local of Malipada said.

“The hospital doesn’t have a biomedical waste treatment plant and that’s why they are releasing piles of medicine strips, used syringes, needles, catheters and discarded gloves into the drains. They must dispose it scientifically and help create a pollution-free environment,” he stated.

Some others alleged that at times they have found endotracheal tubes, airway connectors and special infusion syringes in the drain which should not be thrown in open.

“Is this the way a hospital should operate and what the Health department is doing? Several times we have complained before the hospital authorities, but to no avail,” stated septuagenarian Sahadev Nayak of Nuagaon village.

When the hospital authorities were not available for comments, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) said on receiving complaints, it will take necessary action.

“Every health care unit in the State has been advised to adhere to basic guidelines. And we believe that they are following these. In this case (SUM) we have not yet received any complaints. Once we receive complaints, legal action will be taken against the authorities,” OSPCB senior scientist Smrutiprava Samantaray said.

It has been found that the hospital was operating without a valid license and there was no adequate fire fighting equipments in the hospital to meet any eventuality. The Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) has field two separate cases against the hospital authorities for negligence which led to the death of 27 people so far.

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