The Bermuda Hospital’s Board (BHB) continued to distance itself from Government’s controversial plan to allow a medical waste incinerator to be built in St David’s, reiterating that all protocols were followed by KEMH in moving to outsource the management of medical waste, which was cost effective and allowed the hospital to better focus on it’s core responsibilities.
A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of St David’s on Friday presented Premier David Burt with a petition against the erection of the incinerator at Southside, suggesting Tynes Bay and KEMH as alternative sites for disposal.
However, the BHB pointed to an earlier statement, which noted how the steriliser-macerator equipment they’d been using since 2013 had reached the end of its useful life and was no longer a viable option.
Today’s media release added that it was now common practice for hospitals in various jurisdictions to outsource the disposal of medical waste to licensed, specialist contractors.
“With regards to the MediWaste contract, BHB adhered to its procurement policies and financial instructions, and approvals were given in line with its governance framework for contracts of this size. Furthermore, the contract details were listed in our mandated annual PATI contract listing in December 2021 for public scrutiny,” began today’s statement.
“While most contracts at BHB are put out to tender, there are exceptions and a single/sole source justification process is required when this happens, and this was completed for the MediWaste contract. The justification was that there were no other providers who could dispose of medical waste in Bermuda, which is a highly specialised service, and prices quoted were favourable to BHB.
“BHB was only responsible for the destruction of medical waste, with transportation managed by the Department of Health, independent of BHB.
“At the time of the original approval process, due diligence was undertaken by the BHB procurement department. A Construction Permit had been given by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources, as well as planning approval in principal. The contract was finally approved by the Board in September 2021 after passing through the Finance and Audit Committee. The contract was signed in November 2021, with the understanding that there were still actions required before the contract would be activated. From February 2022, MediWaste confirmed they would take on management of BHB’s waste and in March 2022 an announcement was made by MediWaste about providing medical waste management for the island.
“While the contract helps BHB run more efficiently and saves costs, equally important is that BHB no longer has to manage the island’s medical waste on the hospital site. In the US and UK, medical waste has moved from the responsibility of hospitals to the private sector so this brings us in line with international standards. BHB had previously become the default provider of the service as no one else managed medical waste on island. For BHB, this caused congestion and is not BHB’s area of specialty, so we are now able to focus on our core responsibilities of delivering patient care.”
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