Hospitals found burying tons of 'dangerous' waste in southern Vietnam

By Van Tuyen, Thanh Nien News

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Medical waste dumped behind a hospital in Binh Phuoc Province. Photo: Van Tuyen Medical waste dumped behind a hospital in Binh Phuoc Province. Photo: Van Tuyen

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Police in Binh Phuoc Province in southern Vietnam have caught several public hospitals burying tons of medical waste including used needles and transfusion tubes in the area.
Environment officers said they found Binh Phuoc General Hospital had buried dozens of tons of “dangerous” waste including used needles, syringes, drug bottles, glass debris and transfusion tubes behind its building. The hospital also discharged untreated wastewater.
The police have taken samples of the sewage and the buried waste to assess the pollution.
Police inspection at three smaller hospitals found burial sites for similar waste of a total of 5.8 tons. Two of them have been fined VND350 million (US$15,600) while punishments on the other violators have not been announced.
Le Truong Son, chief environment police officer of the province, said the hospitals have been ordered to dig the waste up and sign contracts with waste treatment units to treat all the waste properly.
Nguyen Dong Thong, director of Binh Phuoc’s health department, said most hospitals in the province cannot afford to build their own waste treatment plant.
Thong said the health ministry has planned to invest in the system at several major hospitals in the province while small hospitals are going to receive support to build incinerators.

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