Safety

Director of Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition: Public health at risk

Emergency Management Alert, May 26, 2009

Darrell Henry, executive director of the Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition (HWEPC), warns that the healthcare system is not prepared to address the disposal of infectious waste in the threat of a pandemic in a May 18 Washington Times editorial.

Henry says that although the bipartisan Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 helped hospitals prepare for crisis, many sectors of hospital operational sustainability—especially in the area of waste management—need more guidance and resources. He says a 2003 Government Accountability Office study concluded that medical supply chains do not have the capacity to deal with waste during a pandemic or natural disaster, and that many hospitals plan to export waste through local communities, over roads and highways. He says new technology is called for in the threat of future pandemics.

To read more of what Henry has to say, click here.

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