KMC Helpline to Solve Biomed Waste Troubles

Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) will set up helpline numbers so doctors who have problems with the services offered for processing biomedical waste can complain directly to the civic administration. A private firm had been handling biomedical waste in the corporation area. KMC, unhappy with the performance of the firm, has terminated the contract with it and taken over the biomedical waste plant located at Kasba Bawada. KMC lacks expertise in handling biomedical waste and several doctors complained of shoddy services. However, experts hired by KMC have now initiated the processing of this waste in the last one month.

At a recent meeting with civic officials, doctors complained about delay in the arrival of vans collecting biomedical waste. Civic chief Abhijeet Chaudhari said all complaints would be quickly resolved once they are registered over the helpline. Helpline numbers for other civic services have already been activated. “Once a complaint is registered, we are bound to address it in a stipulated time period. The complainant will get a text message about the status of complaint and steps taken to address it. Since we have inadequate staff, there may be some issues in providing the service. We hope the doctors too will be part of the solution,” Vijay Patil, chief sanitation inspector of KMC, said.

Doctors demanded reduction in fees charged for the service. Civic officials rejected the demand, saying that the fees reflected what was spent on collection, transportation and processing of the waste. “To improve services, we are going to increase the number of vans and staff handling the harmful waste. We have asked doctors to ensure that waste is not thrown with regular garbage, as that invites a hefty fine and cancellation of the hospital license,” Patil said. Doctors also raised concerns that a no-objection certificate (NOC) was necessary for annual renewal of the hospital license. In the absence of a proper fire safety mechanism, many hospitals face trouble in getting license renewed. – TOI

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