Docs to take out rally on June 27 to protest rate hike

General practitioners will take out a rally from Shaniwar Wada to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on June 27 in protest against the revised rates for processing and disposal of biomedical waste, said Dr Vivek Billampalli, Vice-President, Indian Medical Association (state branch).

According to the Consumer Price Index, the cost of collecting and disposing of biomedical waste has gone up by 11.62 per cent. Initially, the rate was fixed at Rs 2,600 annually. After the revision, the rate has gone up to Rs 2,960, which means a charge of around Rs 246 a month. However, Billampelli said there are several homeopath and ayurveda clinics which do not generate biomedical waste and are used only for consultancy purposes. However, the PMC makes it mandatory for the clinics to register under the scheme, he added.

At a conference organised by General Practitioners Association and Jan Arogya Manch, several doctors protested the hike and alleged they were being harassed to pay higher charges for disposing of biomedical waste.

Passco Environmental Solution Private Limited has been disposing of 3,000 kg of biomedical waste every day in the city. The waste is collected from 2,297 clinics/dispensaries, 17 blood banks, 226 pathology laboratories and 765 hospitals.

Apart from the proposed hike, another issue that has rattled the doctors is the timing of vehicles that collect the biomedical waste. "We have to send our employee or personally stand at the collection point to hand over the waste. There are delays or the timings are not suitable. We have demanded door- to-door service for the collection of waste," said Dr Shekhar Bendre, Coordinator, Jan Arogya Manch.

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