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Title: An evaluation of operational and administrative procedures for health care waste management in public district hospitals of South Africa
Authors: Vumase, Sipho Bongane 
Issue Date: 2009
Although there is an abundance of health care waste information in South Africa, not
enough studies have been done in public district hospitals particularly in rural areas.
Hospitals find it difficult to comply with the minimum requirements of health care waste
management guidelines, such as segregation of waste. If hazardous waste gets mixed
with non-hazardous waste, waste disposal and treatment become costly. Furthermore,
there has been a sharp increase in the amount of waste generated from health facilities.
However, there seem to be uncoordinated efforts in each province in dealing with waste
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the process of operational and administrative
procedures of health care waste management in hospitals. The study was conducted to
facilitate the optimisation of waste management. A quantitative approach was chosen for
this study because cause and effect relationships can more easily be identified, and the
research is more structured and controlled. The project involved an enquiry into the
perception of respondents on the procedures used in managing health care waste. Data
was collected from 270 respondents out of 27 hospitals in nine provinces of South Africa.
The informants were health care waste workers who were either directly or indirectly
involved in waste management. A questionnaire was used as a research instrument.
Results were analysed statistically using a special package for scientific studies.
It has been found that in the midst of financial challenges, hospitals are unable to
prioritise and rank absolutely important activities that are necessary to be undertaken to
meet minimum requirements of health care waste management as laid out in the health
care waste guidelines and directives. Shortages of waste equipment such as trolleys,
waste containers, and temporary storage areas were the main challenges facing
hospitals. The recommendations set the tone and provide a blueprint that health care
managers may consider in facilitating improvement in the management of health care
Submitted in accordance with the requirements for the Doctor's Degree of Technology: Business Administration, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2009.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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