Tamil Nadu could soon become the first state in the country to have a standalone policy for laundry of hospital linen, reported The New Indian Express.
The TN government has already begun the process and conducted meetings on March 31 with stakeholders, including traditional washermen.
J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary Department of Health and Family Welfare told TNIE that Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) will be asked to give permission to the traditional washermen if they take adequate safety measures.
Radhakrishnan acknowledged that the definition of reusable hospital linen and ways of treating it in the present law were unclear.
He said that the meeting was useful and the focus of the policy would be patient safety. Moreover, the interests of the traditional washermen will be kept in mind.
TNIE had earlier reported that many private hospitals were using unsafe methods to treat the reusable hospital linen.
The southern bench of National Green Tribunal had said that a rule must be brought to distinguish linen which was reusable from that, which could be discarded. The order also added that Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act could be invoked by the central or state government in the absence of such a rule.
The NGT had earlier said that, â€śUnfortunately on a reference to the Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, the term appears to be only dealing with linen used for discarding. But it was not clear whether the linen, bed and other materials used normally in the hospital after washing should be reused or not,â€ť as reported by The Hindu.