More than half of the medical waste generated by hospitals across the country are discharged untreated, says a new report from the Vietnam Environment Administration.
Out of 200 incinerators used at the hospitals, only 80 meet environment requirements, burning between 300 and 450 kilograms of waste every day, the agency said.
Figures compiled in 2010 show that hospitals and medical centers across the country discharged more than 500 tons of waste every day, including 60-70 tons of hazardous solid waste.
Most district hospitals and some provincial ones are burying dangerous waste within their premises or at local garbage dumps.
Many garbage bags and bins used at hospitals also fail to meet environmental standards for medical usage, the report said.
It added that half of hospitals that need to transport their waste use uncovered trucks, increasing the risk of spreading diseases.
Medical experts said many developed countries use more innovative methods to treat their medical waste than incineration, a process that makes it hard to control gas emissions.