Chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Dr Lackram Bodoe said a back-up of medical waste at the San Fernando General Hospital had to do with a delay in payment to a contractor and not the malfunctioning of the incinerator.
Responding to complaints about the risks posed by the accumulated medical waste, which comprised amputated limbs, needles, and bloodstained items, Bodoe assured that the $9 million incinerator installed last year was working well.
He said it had been allowed to accumulate because daily paid employees refused to work on Tuesday.
Speaking with members of the media at SWRHA’s symposium on leadership at the Southern Academy of Performing Arts on Wednesday, Bodoe said:
“I want to provide the assurance that the incinerator itself is working nicely.
“This is a new incinerator that was installed last year and the issue had to do with a contractor who was supposed to eliminate the garbage and there was a delay of funding and that’s what created a temporary situation ”
Asked how soon the situation will be rectified, he said:”I’ve only been given the assurance by the CEO that the matter is being dealt with as we speak, so I expect by the end of the day it will be sorted out.”
Additionally, Bodoe said the SWRHA was also considering introducing a new kind of technology, called the radio wave technology for incineration, which was much more atmosphere friendly.
However, a Public Service Association representative, who wished to remain anonymous, said the incinerator was breaking down on a regular basis because it was installed last year and was not working at this time.
“They even had to revert to the old incinerator and that’s dangerous and unhealthy to people operating that incinerator.
He said employees took the action on Tuesday because since last week they had been assured that the garbage problem could have been sorted out.