Issue of September 13, 2020
Mt. Province
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Healthcare facilities warned vs improper waste disposal
by PNA

Healthcare facilities that improperly dispose of healthcare wastes and used rapid test kits face sanctions, a health official said Wednesday.

In a virtual media forum, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said healthcare wastes should be placed in a separate container approved by the environment department because its disposal is different from ordinary waste products.

Vergeire issued the warning after residents in Sampaloc, Manila found a sack of used rapid antibody test kits along M. Dela Fuente Street.

“Rapid test kits are healthcare wastes. Katulad niyan nalaglag doon sa kalye o baka hinahawakan lang ng mga nagkokolekta na walang gloves and they can easily get infections and there’ll be harm among the people,” Vergeire said.

Apart from the test kits, personal protective equipment used by healthcare workers, and other items used for the treatment of patients must be disposed properly following healthcare waste disposal protocols, Vergeire added.

“They should be placed in a bag with proper label that they are healthcare wastes and there are designated places for healthcare wastes as approved by Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” she said.

She urged healthcare facilities to ensure proper disposal of healthcare wastes, saying these are hazardous.

Healthcare facilities that fail to comply with healthcare waste disposal protocols will receive a warning on their first violation from the DOH.

“We will suspend you if you still fail to comply, and, final will be revocation of your license, and aside from that kung may iba pang tatamaan na batas with regard to this healthcare waste,” Vergeire said.

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