Bach Mai hospital recycling medical waste

VietNamNet Bridge - Bach Mai, one of the most prestigious and largest state-owned healthcare centers in Vietnam, has been found disseminating hazardous medical waste, according to Lao Dong reporters. 


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The reporters followed the steps of the hospital’s workers and witnessed how the medical waste was classified, preliminarily treated and then carried away to craft villages, where the waste is recycled into daily household products. A lot of pictures were taken as proof.  

A large area behind the mortuary & funeral house of Bach Mai hospital is reserved for  medical waste treatment. There are small houses and a waste water treatment precinct where noisy machines operate. 

There in the area, IV wires and tubes which still had patients’ blood were washed with water, while bloodstained syringes and patients’ samples containing germs were cut into small pieces and ground.

Medical waste was classified into groups. 

Bach Maii is one of the most prestigious and largest state-owned healthcare centers in Vietnam
Plastic medical waste was collected and brought to a precinct for preliminary treatment which was either done manually or with machines.

Medical workers were seen calmly opening the caps of yellow dustbins containing hazardous waste. They rummaged through it and found bandages and syringes and put them into a large tray. Then they looked for IV tubes, cut the tubes into pieces and washed them with water to clear blood and pus. 

After preliminary treatment, the hazardous products were put into plastic or jute bags and carried away by trucks to recycling workshops in the suburbs.

Before the bags were carried away, they were put in rooms and visited by mice. In Lao Dong’s newspaper, images of mice as big as calf, foraging the bags, were published.

Meanwhile, sharp injection needles and other items were put into grinders which produced ear-splitting noise. 

There in the area where the preliminary treatment was made was a sign board “Khu thu gom luu tru xu ly chat thai tap trung. Khu xu ly nuoc thai. Khong nhiem vu mien vao” (The area for concentrated waste treatment. No entry).

After leaving Bach Mai Hospital, four trucks were seen heading towards Khoai Village.

The reportage on Lao Dong has stunned the public. One day after the article was published on Lao Dong, the Ministry of Health announced it had requested the hospital to report about the waste treatment case.

Two days later, the hospital organized a press conference, affirming that Bach Mai has been strictly following procedures on medical waste treatment.

Nguyen Duy Thinh from the Hanoi University of Technology said that ‘recycling medical waste is a crime’.

Lao Dong

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