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BIO-MEDICAL WASTE: Hospitals fail to submit mandatory report to PCB.

Indicating their non-compliance to safe disposal of hazardous waste, hospitals in Kashmir have failed to submit mandatory bio-medical waste disposal report to J&K Pollution Control Board (PCB) for second successive year, forcing the regulatory board now to mull legal recourse.

Last week, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reprimanded the PCB for failing to furnish compliance report on bio-medical waste disposal in the state hospitals. An official said the report sought by the CPCB is a compilation of the data furnished by the healthcare facilities.

“Since we have received the annual report from only one hospital in the entire Kashmir, we are not in a position to report to the central board,” regional director PCB, Syed Nadeem Qadri said.

He said the annual reports needed to be filed by the hospitals by June every year but for the second successive year this year the hospitals had flouted the rule.

Communications in possession reveal that the PCB has repeatedly sought “cooperation” from the principal government medical college (GMC) Srinagar and director health services Kashmir in this regard.

A letter had been forwarded to these administrators in November 2017, followed by several reminders. However there had been “no response at all” from the hospitals, JKPCB officials said.

One of these reminders dated 16 December 2018 to principal GMC Srinagar reads, “It is most unfortunate that in spite of repeated requests and reminders, still most of the healthcare establishments have failed to submit (the) annual report under the rules”.

The letter impresses upon the medical college to submit the compliance report “before any action is initiated against the defaulters as mandated under law”.

The GMC has administrative control over seven hospitals: SMHS hospital, Lal Ded hospital, GB Pant Pediatric hospital, Bone and Joints Hospital, Chest Diseases Hospital, Kashmir Nursing Home and Psychiatric Diseases Hospital. Of these seven hospitals, PCB officials said, only Chest Diseases Hospital has filed the report.

The board has also sent multiple reminders to the director health services, which has the administrative control of all peripheral hospitals in Kashmir including district and sub-district hospitals as well as JLNM Hospital and Gousia Hospital in Srinagar. Besides these hospitals, there is tertiary care Shere-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura and SKIMS Bemina hospital.

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