A 155 million USD hospital waste water treatment project was kicked off Dec. 12 by the Ministry of Health and financed by the World Bank in Hanoi.

The project aims to minimise environmental pollution due to medical waste from hospitals in order to improve people’s health.

The 6-year plan would help strengthen policies relating to medical waste management and establish solid and water waste treatment systems for at least 150 hospitals.

If implemented effectively, the project would allow for improved operation, management and observation of waste treatment systems by medical staff in four institutes: Labour Medicine and Hygiene Environment, HCM City’s Public Medicine and Hygiene, Pasteur Nha Trang and Tay Nguyen Hygiene and Epidemiology.

“Improving medical waste management and treatment is one of key tasks for the health sector,” said Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.

Medical waste treatment systems would initially be installed in 16 hospitals in the Cuu Long Delta, in Long An, Dong Thap, Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces, as well as six central hospitals in the north. Priority would be given to state hospitals at central and provincial levels or inter-district general hospitals with pressing demand, according to Tien.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health showed that more than 1,260 hospitals and over 1,000 medical clinics nationwide have discharged around 350 tonnes of solid waste (600 tonnes by 2015) and 150,000 cubic metres of liquid waste per day. However, 56 percent of hospitals nation-wide have no waste water treatment system at all.

Until now, 70 percent of hospitals with waste management systems have failed to meet current standards, and 50 percent have separated and collected solid medical waste following the process of medical waste management regulation. /.