Managing Healthcare Waste: A Practical Approach

Lalji K Verma

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Hospital Waste (more appropriately, healthcare waste) is a potent source of biological & chemical pollution. Initiatives taken so far for disinfection and management of hospital waste in India, and other developing countries have failed to achieve desired aims and outcome. There are many reasons, but primarily it is due to the fact that planners and healthcare providers tend to go for ‘end of pipeline’ solutions rather apply a ‘system approach’. Deadline laid in BMW Rules- 1998 is over long ago. But proper healthcare waste management is still a far cry, and a distant dream.

Generally, there is lack of understanding of the nexus, or the connection that exists between environmental pollutants contained in the healthcare waste and its adverse impact on human health. That is why two chapters have been devoted on understanding environment & ecology; environmental pollutants, and its adverse effects on human health. Other chapters are specific to healthcare waste management issues. This book examines system application in detail, with incisive analysis; and provides step by step practical guideline for developing a comprehensive healthcare waste management system. It has chapters and sections covering all aspects of healthcare waste management, including risk management associated with handling of healthcare wastes.

Waste management is an integral part of patient management Healthcare providers cannot ignore to take care of waste generated on their premises. It should be considered an extended responsibility. No one else is going to clear up the mess of one’s own household. This handbook is a result of two years research and study. Sufficient data has been collected and compiled. Success stories and case studies have been discussed. All in all, this book would be a useful tool for improved understanding of the subject.

Planners (including those controlling the budget), healthcare professionals, students of hospital management, NGOs, and agencies involved in training and awareness programmes would find this book immensely useful and helpful. In fact, this is a book for all those wanting to know about environmental pollution caused by healthcare waste, and its adverse impact on human health.

Lalji K Verma Lalji K.Verma is a well known name in hospital waste management and related issues. After graduating from Patna Medical College, he joined the Indian Air Force, and retired from the top medical position in the rank of Air Marshal in August 2002; after a distinguished career spanning for about four decades. For his distinguished service he was awarded Ati Vishishtha Seva Medal by the President of India in the year 2001.
His concern for environment is well known. He is credited to have established a comprehensive hospital waste management system at the Air Force Hospital, Bangalore, India as a WHO aided pilot project; which was the starting point of Hospital Waste Management in the country. Much published author of many scientific & research papers, articles and concepts; many of his papers and articles are in circulation on the internet.
He has been regularly writing on waste management and environmental issues. While still in service, he with other like minded persons founded Indian Society of Hospital Waste Management in the year 2000, and was its Founding President. Once again he has taken the reigns of the Society as its elected President. Concerned with environmental degradation by improper waste management he has formed an NGO named ‘VIKALP – Seeking Waste Solutions through Alternatives’, of which he is the Founding President.
Lalji K. Verma is a man of many virtues- an environmentalist (holds a Masters Degree in Environment & Ecology), a writer (has three books of Hindi poetry, a play in Hindi and an anthology of English poems published), trained in Para trooping, mountaineering and Jungle Survival & Counter-Insurgency a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India and over and above, a medical administrator of repute. His future plans? Well, carrying on working for environmental protection through waste management and awareness programmes.

 

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