Diagnostic lab cries foul after biomedical waste fine

Diagnostic lab cries foul after biomedical waste fine

A BBMP crackdown on diagnostic labs that disobey waste disposal rules created a fresh controversy on Saturday. 

Citing unscientific disposal of biomedical waste, BBMP officials imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Focus Diagnostics and Speciality Clinic, Rajajinagar. The lab not only cried foul but also accused BBMP officials of mixing biomedical waste with the general waste. 

In a press release, Dr A S Balasundar, Health Officer, BBMP, West Zone, said: “We had received a complaint that this diagnostic centre was unscientifically disposing of the biomedical waste. Upon checking, the centre was found to be violating the rules as it was disposing of the biomedical waste along with the regular waste. We have fined it Rs 1 lakh under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.” 

Lab rejects claim

The lab rejected the BBMP’s claim and said it had been duly following the rules ever since its inception. “We have an agreement with biomedical waste handlers and have been handing them over the waste scientifically. But BBMP personnel haven’t collected the regular waste from the hospital in the past 15-days despite our repeated requests,” Rathnakar Hegde, Managing Director, Focus Diagnostics, told DH. 

He accused BBMP officials of demanding Rs 1,000 a month to collect the regular waste as against the mutually agreed upon payment of Rs 500. “When we refused to oblige, they added biomedical waste to the regular waste and fined us,” he claimed. 

Dr Balasundar refuted the lab’s accusations, calling them “far from the truth”. “We have all the evidence, including documents and photographs, to show that the lab was not disposing of the biomedical waste scientifically,” he said.