Camarines Norte

Audit report bares disturbing waste handling of 3 Camarines Norte hospitals

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Audit report bares disturbing waste handling of 3 Camarines Norte hospitals

COA. The building of the Commission on Audit in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City taken on October 2, 2018.


The Commission on Audit says the unsanitary medical waste handling of the government hospitals poses risks to public health and the environment

MANILA, Philippines – State auditors sounded alarm bells after they found three Camarines Norte hospitals improperly managing and disposing of their medical waste.

In a report, the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the unsanitary storage and handling of medical waste in three public hospitals: the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital (CNPH), the Labo District Hospital (LDH), and the Capalonga Medicare and Community Hospital (CMCH).

The three hospitals are all owned by the provincial government of Camarines Norte.

During an audit conducted in collaboration with pollution control officers from each hospital, disturbing violations of the Department of Health’s Health Care Waste Management Manual were uncovered.

The COA said the auditors noted the inadequate implementation of proper waste management protocols, posing risks to public health and the environment.

At CNPH, deficiencies in the material recovery facility slash storage were observed, resulting in the overflow of medical waste beyond the designated area. 

State auditors reported that containers for infectious waste lacked proper labeling, and segregation of regular trash from medical waste was neglected due to a shortage of color-coded plastic bags.

Similar issues were identified at LDH, where patients and their families were seen by auditors disposing of placental and umbilical cord waste without proper supervision, raising concerns about the correct disposal procedures.

The COA stated, “Since no proper supervision was present in the handling of these considered pathological and infectious wastes, this practice does not guarantee the prescribed manner of disposal.”

At CMCH, the proximity of garbage storage containers to critical areas such as the emergency room, kitchen, and lobby was seen as hazardous by the COA. 

Auditors said limited space compelled the hospital to place garbage storage near sensitive areas, compromising safety standards.

The COA stressed that the failure to comply with waste handling guidelines undermines efforts to safeguard human health and the environment. 

“Proper handling, storage and disposal of medical wastes were not strictly observed by the province-owned hospitals,” read part of the COA report.

The audit team said the improper waste management and disposal threaten to adversely effect public health and the environment.

The report added, “Due to the inability of the local hospitals to strictly implement the prescribed waste handling, storage, treatment and disposal, the protection of human health by reducing exposure to hazardous health care waste and promotion of a safer environment was not optimized.”

The administrations of the three hospitals assured the COA of ongoing efforts to train and inform their staff on proper waste management practices. –

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