Assessment of Waste Management in the Healthcare Facilities of Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates

Author(s): Mohamed Ahmed Awad, Moetaz Elsergany, Ibrahim Qambar Al-Balushi

Dubai has witnessed a rapid development in the healthcare sector. Dubai plans to be a world hub of health tourism which caused considerable increase in the number of healthcare facilities. Despite the resulting increase in the generated wastes, there are very limited studies assessing the healthcare waste management in Dubai. This study conducted to assess the waste management practices of the healthcare facilities of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and to propose measures for improving their waste management systems. The results showed that DHA facilities are very similar in their waste management practices as they are managed by the same entities. The facilities have proper waste segregation and onsite transport systems, but the wastes are not weighed until taken for off-site transport. The studied facilities have appropriate on-site waste storage rooms except for three facilities with no storage rooms. The waste management staff have proper training, but they have limited knowledge on legislation related to healthcare wastes, and the method of their final treatment and disposal. The hazardous wastes of the surveyed facilities are treated in Jebel Ali by incineration with the produced ashes buried in a landfill at the same location. The waste management in DHA’s facilities can be improved by: establishing waste minimization systems; weighing the wastes after segregation; and establishing better coordination between the waste management systems in the studied facilities and the waste treatment facility in Jebel Ali. Similar studies are also recommended to include other facilities especially those belonging to the private sector.

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