The North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) suspects that their medical waste carrier Eesti Keskkonnateenused does not follow regulations when handling medical waste. The company confirmed it follows regulations but will initate an independent investigation.
PERH suspects that some waste does not reach the locations contractually set with Eesti Keskkonnateenused. The hospital has not made any official allegations, but has consulted with the Police and Border Guard Board, said PERH board chair Agris Peedu. Their suspicion is based on a hint the hospital received some time ago.
PERH has many waste handlers. In addition to Tallinn, hospitals are located in Rapla, Haapsalu and Hiiumaa. There are tons of medical waste generated each week, sorted into ten categories at the hospitals. There are body parts that need to be kept cold and general waste that could have been in contact with infectious diseases.
All waste must be handled in specific ways: "In case the waste is handled incorrectly, it also means the employees who are handling waste are in high risk of getting an infection," Peedu said.
Argo Luude, head of Eesti Keskkonnateenused, said that infectious waste is transported from the hospital in closed containers to the handling location and will eventually be incinerated in Tartu.
"They are transported in refrigerator trucks, as required by law. No waste handler has to worry that infectious waste has reached another location. If you are asking me if I would put my head on the line, I cannot say that. It is clear that if such suspicions arise, we must conduct an investigation," Luude said.
Luude added that Eesti Keskkonnateenused is planning to meet with PERH leadership to discuss the suspicions.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste