How will Health City deal with waste from cancer centre?

| 12/04/2019

Health City is going to build a cancer centre. Is it going to have a specially designed independent sewage treatment plant that includes disinfection and residue removal zones? Where will final effluent be disposed? Wastewater from hospitals can contain traces of anything from viruses and multi-resistant bacteria to medical contrast agents and chemicals for cancer treatment including radioactive isotopes.

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Auntie’s answer: I can understand your concern about this issue, especially since there have been recent incidents of medical waste being mishandled locally, both at Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac and the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town.

I asked Health City about their waste-treatment plan for the cancer centre. A hospital spokesperson said that the detailed design of the centre is currently being worked on. Included in that plan is for the building to have a “a dedicated sewage treatment facility designed to meet the laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands”. In addition, and to your concern, “A hazardous waste segregation plan will permit the effluent to be disposed of safely” as per the protocols of the Health Practice Commission, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also confirmed that groundbreaking will take place within the next two months, and the facility will be completed six to eight months after that.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “. . .a dedicated sewage treatment facility designed to meet the laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands”, and “A hazardous waste segregation plan will permit the effluent to be disposed of safely” as per the protocols of the Health Practice Commission, the spokesperson said.”

    Do the laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands for the treatment of medical waste sewerage specify how radioactive isotopes should be handled?
    Have you read the flimsy and inadequate HPC protocols for medical waste disposal?
    Has anyone checked if the HPC protocols are being followed by the hospitals?

  2. Anonymous says:

    We are so very fortunate that there will be a dedicated cancer treatment center right here in our own Islands. The logistics and significant added expense faced by patients and their families, including those who do not have sufficient health insurance nor the financial means to cover treatment, having to fly overseas and board for weeks or months at times, adds additional stress to already highly stressful circumstances.

    First, let’s be thankful that we now have a PET CT on Island and let us further be very grateful that HC will be adding additional facilities to assist in the treatment of an awful disease affecting men, women and children.

    In voicing our legitimate concerns, let us be helpful where we can and offer possible solutions where we may have relevant knowledge that can assist. Where there may be genuine concerns without solutions, then yes, raise those concerns, but do so with respect, bearing in mind that the end goal remains the same and that is affordable comprehensive cancer treatment for the people of Cayman, right here at home.

    • Erin Brokovich says:

      You would have been very fortunate if there were no cancer cases on this sunny island called paradise. As usually, praising the treatment, vs. prevention is exceptionally stupid. The very fact that population of 60k people needs its own cancer treatment center is mind boggling. Having oversea patients and dealing with cancer treatments waste is nothing to be proud of. It adds toxic load on grand cayman residents, why are you so blind to see it? For Health City it is all about money. For you it is more cancer cases that would be treated in your own cancer treatment. Hooray!
      Hazardous waste is not handled properly here and never will be. I wish someone would conduct a thorough investigation. Not necessarily DOE, I would not trust them, but private investigation paid by the money you collect during cancer awareness events. That would be money spent wisely. Putting bandaids on people with cancer is not the same as preventing people from getting cancer.
      May be your cancer society should start thinking outside the box?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes we would be fortunate indeed were there no cancer cases here or anywhere else. Sadly reality is what it is. I do not disagree with you regarding the handling of waste nor do I disagree you with regard to prevention awareness. As a cancer patient myself I can only speak to the benefits of having had at least some medical treatments here at home and look forward to a more comprehensive offering in the future. I am very proud of the efforts being made here in Cayman irrespective population size and irrespective of how far we still have to go. I have no doubt that your positive suggestions would be welcomed by relevant parties / institutions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “…. to meet the laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands”.

    There are no laws or regulations to deal with waste from radiation treatment.

    Hospital sewage – is also radioactive. see link below:

  4. Anonymous says:

    So the concern is that Health City MAY not handle the medical waste properly, despite any indication that they might, rather than the known fact the governments GTH facility is routinely piling up biological waste outside the hospital, and the Brac hospital just piles it in an open trench. Yup, cant trust those nasty furriners.

  5. Anonymous says:

    People of Grand Cayman are unwitting guinea pigs!

    You already drowning in the potent toxic mix of health detrimental substances in your air and water. It would only get worse. There is no room for additional regular and hazardous waste. Unless you build a 50 story tower and start piling all your waste there.

    * East End Heritage Beach and North Side Public Beach had readings of 1,533 units and 1,300 units respectively, which ARE extreme levels of enterococci bacteria.” No policy for alerting public to ocean bacteria spikes. And frankly would you trust the DoE readings?

    *Medical waste piles up outside hospital. Where does it go eventually??

    * where dead iguanas are being disposed? Most importantly HOW? There is a reason human corpses are either cremated or put in the ground. Don’t you think this would apply to 500K+ dead iguanas as well?

    *No air-pollution controls at landfill incinerators. DEH does not have the “necessary equipment to allow for adequate monitoring of such emissions at this time. “It is hoped that (the department) will be able to do so in the foreseeable future.” HOPED???

    * Waste water treatment plants gasses. Anybody monitoring???

    *overflow from septic tanks near beaches and everywhere else. Anybody is doing anything?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s nothing compared to industrialized cities all over the world. Good luck in Beijing, sweetheart.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why you compare to Beijing? Why to compare environmental pollution on 2×4 rock in the middle of a sea with population of 60k to a continental country 3,700,000 sq.miles and population 1.4 bill?
        Am I missing your logic?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why were Heritage Beach and Northside so high on the bacteria scale? There is very little around Heritage Beach area, so septic run off seems unlikely? Is someone dumping there?

      Cayman needs to start reporting things like this and give accurate readings to the population as to WHY the readings are excessive.

      Demand this to happen. This is a third world problem with a third world reaction.

    • Anonymous says:

      All it would take it one damning report of the pollution in the cayman islands by a national news agency and then a political platform could be made – but usually catastrophe needs to happen before change. There’s a reason why they don’t keep medical statistics or monitor pollution here 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Landfill, could’t be any worse than what’s in there now.