Waste at hospital sparks outrage

2019-03-20 06:01
Waste at the Pelonomi Hospital after it was left uncol­lected.Photo: Supplied

Waste at the Pelonomi Hospital after it was left uncol­lected.Photo: Supplied

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Waste material piling up at the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein poses no serious health threat.

This is according to the provincial Department of Health.

Public outrage was sparked after waste material was seen piling up in recent weeks.

Speaking anonymously, some employees expressed dismay over the non-collection of waste, saying it creates an infestation of rats, reportedly already roaming on the premises.

Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson of the department, said there was no toxic medical waste that would cause health problems to employees of the hospital, including the public.

He said after investigation was done, it was established that most of the waste was a mix of non-medical recyclable material.

Recyclable material include boxes and plastic bags that were disposed of at the renovated incineration.

The amount of waste exceeding the capacity, was the reason for the public outrage.

“The non-medical recyclable waste material has currently piled up due to the wait for the approval of a waste contract.

“The other reason for the waste piling up at the hospital was due to the hospital truck breaking down. The use of a small bakkie to ferry non-medical waste is an attempted effort to meet the requirements,” said Mvambi.

Mvambi said removal of medical waste was the responsibility of the provincial department and was done twice a week to ensure compliance to health and safety of employees and the public.

He said collection of pharmaceutical waste was also done by a contracted service provider while the Mangaung Metro Municipality was responsible for removal of general waste at the hospital.

Mvambi said removal of garden waste was the responsibility of the Pelonomi Hospital garden service.

Insuring compliance to health and safety standards, he said the Pelonomi Hospital has appointed an environmental health officer who works with IPC and Quality, monitoring waste management.

“The hospital as an institution must comply with the set standards,” said Mvambi, adding that the hospital would ensure compliance.

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