MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit warned of the potential health hazard posed by the Laguna Medical Center, which it found to have poor waste management practices.
COA said in its 2018 audit report of the province of Laguna that the hospital violated Republic Act (RA) No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Health Care Waste Management Manual.
“Ocular inspection made by the Audit Team together with the Waste Management Officer of the Medical Center disclosed that the hospital did not strictly observe the proper management of their wastes,” COA said.
Laguna Medical Center, according to COA, failed to sort radioactive, sharp, and pressurized waste in color-coded containers.
The hospital, COA added, also left waste containers uncovered, making them susceptible to rummaging animals and insect infestation.
It also did not mark infectious waste containers with the international infectious substance symbol, and left its sewage treatment plant and waste storage areas with no proper signage.
The violations, according to COA, pose a “serious threat to human health and environment.”
The Laguna provincial government has since assured COA that it would act upon the commission’s findings and recommendations, “subject to periodic monitoring by the audit team to ensure compliance.”
The rules. RA No. 9003 requires the segregation of trash in properly marked receptacles, properly identifying them as “compostable”, “recyclable”, “non-recyclable” or “special waste.”
The Health Care Waste Management Manual, on the other hand, requires hospitals to get rid of potentially hazardous waste within 2 days to minimize microbial growth, decay, and unpleasant odors. Hospital wastes held for longer than 2 days need to be treated with chemical disinfectants or refrigerated at 4°C or lower.
The same manual requires hospitals to have proper storage areas in designated off-site treatment facilities, as it prohibits the accumulation of waste within the hospital premises. Regular collection and transportation is mandatory as part of the health care management plan. – Rappler.com