Medical waste piles up outside hospital

| 05/03/2019 | 62 Comments
Cayman News Service

Medical waste at the George Town hospital

(CNS): Officials from the Department of Environmental Health have confirmed that they are working to replace a skip at the hospital for medical waste, but in the meantime bags of bio-waste are piling up outside the George Town health facility. Concerned readers contacted CNS with images taken outside the hospital this weekend which appears to show that the Health Services Authority is enduring the same collection challenges as residents and businesses across Grand Cayman.

We contacted the DEH, the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for that department, and the HSA. While senior DEH officials responded and confirmed that they are collecting from the hospital and are focused on repairing the medical waste skip, the ministry has not responded.

Despite the images showing both ordinary and medical waste piling up outside, the management at the DEH said garbage was being regularly collected.

“I can assure you that we carried out collections from the hospital of medical waste over the weekend (on Saturday) and continue to service this location as part of our rounds,” Acting DEH Director Richard Simms said.

“We are currently working to replace the containers for medical waste at the hospital to reduce the need to stockpile materials outside as seen in the picture. As soon as a container is available through our repair programme, we will have this in place,” he added.

However, we understand from other sources that the hospital skips are generally emptied three days a week but not usually on Saturdays. CNS was told by unofficial sources that staff often have to call DEH to inform them that their skips are overflowing and the issues have now been compounded by the lack of a specialist skip for the medical waste that is being stacked outside on pavements until it is collected.

Although government has claimed it is making a concerted effort to address long-running management problems at the DEH relating to staff issues, budget overruns to the tune of 800% and allegations of abuse of the overtime system, complaints about garbage collection persist.

Cayman News Service

Garbage at the George Town hospital

While equipment failure and problems with the maintenance of trucks have been blamed for the issues at the department in the past, the minister with responsibility for rubbish management, Dwayne Seymour, claimed last year in the Legislative Assembly that it was a staffing problem and had nothing to do with equipment issues.

Seymour has also said that the negotiations between the ministry and a consortium led by the Dart-owned contractor, DECCO, the team selected as the preferred bidder to address the problem of the George Town dump and implement the long-awaited national integrated solid waste-management system (ISWMS), were still on going.

Speaking in November, the minister said that a draft contract could be ready by the end of this month. However, there has been no update from either the minister or his staff on the current state of affairs.

The premier mentioned the project in his speech at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch last month, saying that “after more than five years of work and negotiations, we are nearing agreement with the preferred bidder”. He said it was a “key deliverable of my government and we are very pleased to have made it to this juncture”, though he gave no other details.

In his ‘state of the nation’ address at the Fidelity CEO conference last week he talked about the importance of maintaining and expanding the current development and construction boom, and he opened a debate about skyscrapers and the inevitable population increase that would fuel, but he made no mention of the waste management project and the ever-growing George Town landfill, aka Mount Trashmore.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That garbage piled up there just makes me sick. Looks like we need to employ a Caymanian with back bone to over see to many hygenic issues at HSA. Gone are the days when we had good workers such as Mr Mellice and all those hard working West Bay ladys at our Hospital. Our Hospital was spotless. Know what as a Caymanian just try getting a job at our Hospital as a cleaner or the laundry and kitchen. It is most disgusting to go to the Hospital entrance early in the morning for dialysis only to find the entrance in a deplorable condition. The same way you left it the day before is how you are going to find it. That place needs some disinfectant a scrubbing brush and a hose after visiting hours and clean from the benches that we have to sit on right down to the floor. There are always negative comments about that entrance. Most of us have to sit there but in scorn. The huge desk in the center of the entrance is a waste. It is just a socializing corner and does not serve no other purpose except for giving employment to another expat. Then the Pharmacy has had the chairs displayed in the most stupid fashion. I really wander what is going on. It all boils down to one sentence. I don’t care a dam because its not my Country. I would just like for our good ole humble Servant Mr Dwayne Seymour to pay a surprise visit and he would be shocked at the amount of money that is being paid out for such poor service.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Okay, it all comes down to leadership and we start at the top with the Minister in charge – that should say it all. The only person to blame is the Minister. Period. End of Story.

  3. Anon :) says:

    If it is a staff problem how about HIRING CAYMANIANS, you have potential Caymanians who really want to work try their hardest to apply to places but get the position they want taken over by permit workers. And then we complain about how Caymanians are lazy smh. Bunch of hypocrites! *rolls eyes*

    • Anonymous says:

      That ship sailed a long time ago. Roll your eyes all you want. Civil service hires more Caymanians then anyone else and look what their reputation is and why. shaking my head.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If your skip is cleared 3 times a week that’s because that’s what you contracted w/ DEH for. If it gets filled faster than that then you need to up your requested collection rate. (For reference, the bar & restaurant near me must get 6 days a week skip clearing, by DEH, including a weekend collection.) – Part of this problem is HSA for not asking/contracting/insisting on ‘daily’ collection.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Q’s: What does it take to get fired for cause in the civil service? Can a pension be withdrawn in situations of gross misconduct? Has anyone in civil service ever been charged under the Penal Code for dereliction?

  6. Anonymous says:

    After a short period of time, it must be tempting to accept the money for doing nothing, with the comfort of knowing that nobody (electorate or media) will challenge that decision, ask tough questions, review your internal policy, or ever hold you to any professional standard. Anywhere else, if it were say, your full time vocation, there would be an internal performance-based hierarchy, regular scheduled maintenance for trucks, a retirement and re-ordering schedule for bins and perishables. But not here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. Here the CS has a depreciation line in the department budget but the Government doesn’t let them put that money aside each year so the skip, truck, etc., can be replaced once its depreciated, i.e., you’ve saved up enough to pay for a new one over the useful life of the first one. Instead it goes back into general revenue and when you need a new skip, truck, etc. …

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not a word from Alden about the real problems that put everyone here at risk. We only hear about how good his unity government is and how hard they work, they do no wrong, they want to build skyscrapers and invite thousands of rich people to come to Cayman to live.

    • Erin Brokovich says:

      The Dump and the improper medical waste disposal- both are public health risk.

      • See if Cayman citizen can sue government over ‘imminent’ public health threat.
      • See if civil rights acts allow suits against persons acting under governmental authority who violate constitutional rights and certain national laws.
      • See if Public health officials can be sued in their official capacity or as private persons. This personal wrongdoing may be related to official duties

  8. Anonymous says:

    One would reason that even in a crunch, THE HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENTS WOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR WASTE REMOVAL! I wonder if the employees are outfitted with protective gloves, masks etc when collecting this waste.

    • Beach Cleaner says:

      Why in heaven’s name would the hospital continue to pile bio-medical waste in an OUTSIDE bin? Can they not coordinate its removal with the DEH rather than leave it for any stray dog or chicken to rip apart? Sounds to me like the hospital could use a few safety tips themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just make sure after it removed from the hospital it is disposed of properly. Moving it from one to another accomplishes nothing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Apathy is at a record high in Cayman.

    How can one article boast more visitors, when the next article shows piles of bio waste piled weeks high from not getting picked up at a hospital to be disposed of properly?

    It portrays Caymanians as disgusting, dirty people.

    To just sit back and let that happen!?!?

    Not my problem… unna let someone else deal with it…

    On a broader scale, it shows the Cayman government cares more about stuffing their pocket (the new cruise port and new tower and destruction of a marine park for a bar and unnecessary music fest for the elites and and and…), than fixing the major problems of the day (crime increasing, dismal education in public schools, rising health care costs, lack of police presence, garbage collection etc.).

    One can’t help but postulate this is what the powers at be WANT to happen and are MAKING happen.

    One giant, corrupt, cesspool.

    People always are asking if this is the beginning of the end for Cayman. No it’s not.

    The Cayman Islands are long finished.

    This bio waste pile up is revolting. Heads should have rolled long ago. The fact they haven’t, speaks volumes.

    Your MLAs collect a paycheck, that should stop TODAY for letting things get so horrific in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely correct. Few of my friends, status holders, owners of expensive properties will be putting their SMB properties for sale and leaving the country. Living in Cayman has become hazardous to health to make such drastic decision. I am sure, their condos would be purchased fast by those who expect life in Cayman as it is advertised by real estate professionals.

      Sadly, Cayman has turned into “One giant, corrupt, cesspool.” Literally.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:45am You had me until “unnecessary music fest for the elites”. That part does not fit in with the balance of your otherwise valid points. I went to this ‘unnecessary’ music fest. We need more live music here. I thoroughly enjoyed both the local musicians and those from overseas. And I am definitely NOT considered an ‘elite’. What’s more, I am disgusted to be referenced with that group.

      PS. To our Cayman born who live both here and overseas, I hope you get to spend this year preparing for next year! We want to see more of you!

      • Anonymous says:

        8:53 how much did you pay for your Kaaboo tickets? Note that price may be more than someone else’s rent, or utilities or groceries or school uniforms for their children.

        A music fest wasn’t unnecessary per se, but Kaaboo was way and beyond anything most people could rightfully budget. It does carry a theme that Cayman is courting currently that things will be built and done for the people that can afford it. You can afford it, so you’re not offended. There are lots of people who couldn’t afford it. And lots of people who couldn’t afford it and went anyways (hopefully you didn’t fall prey to that scenario).

        Maybe you will not be offended by the new Tower because you will be able to afford to enjoy it’s amenities.

        Maybe you will still be able to get into Tilley’s (the old Hemingways) or whatever the new Calico Jack’s turns into.

        Many of Cayman’s best attributes are becoming privatized.

        The looming gap between haves and have nots is humongous. Just something for you to think about.

        I hope you enjoyed Brian Adams, I saw him when I was a teenager for $24.99 on a summer night, in a field of thousands of people, not so dissimilar to the Kaaboo fest.

        • Anonymous says:

          we need to be more worries about the cost of living here rather than moaning about the cost of Kaaboo tickets, the person is right, there should be more locals there which will just add to the allure of the event as a place where guests to our home can enjoy spending time with our people as much as musical acts, fix the massive cost of living problems we have here and more locals will be able to afford to do these kinds of things!

          • Anonymous says:

            They don’t want more locals there. Sad but true. KAABOO is for wealthy visitors and their local counterparts. Undesirables are priced out by design.

            • Anonymous says:

              Undesirables are not wanted for anything for a reason.

              • Anonymous says:

                “undesirables” exist; period.

                You can’t keep fencing people off from one another like cattle.

                Class segregation is a killer to any societal fabric.

                Well written, educated comment @ 11:12 am !

            • Anonymous says:

              Lots of stuck up maple leafs!

      • Anonymous says:

        8:53 I wonder if you are the same person that complains about high CUC prices, gas prices, food prices, and water prices because, if so, you just lost that privilege. Enjoy the 1%.

        The sleight of hand from the Master is well at work. An over priced music festival and you acquiesce to the mountain of, literal, garbage accumulating in Cayman.

        Good for you. Save those pennies for next year.

  10. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for the civil service.

  11. Anonymous says:

    another bad day at the office for dwayne…the garbage minister.
    and cayman wants to prevent highly qualified residents from running for office??…….zzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      two unrelated issues …. zzzzzzzzzzz

      • Anonymous says:

        But are they? Do you think a minister who didn’t have all sorts of favours to pay off and was more concerned with the quality of life on the island which affects all, rich and poor, might not do a better job? Or put it another way. Do you think that a chicken or iguana acting as minister could do a worse job?

  12. Lady shine says:

    Previous bozo at DeH was too worried about the English test results at Airport immigration simply did not care about the medical waste at GT Hospital plain and simple I guess he will now become a consultant now too!!!!

  13. Anon says:

    This is a disgrace. Medical waste…bits of humans from surgery, germ carrying sponges….just left lying around.. for dogs, cats, birds and rats to pick at???? What are these idiots being paid for? Too find out how fast diseases can erupt and spread?

    Is this not to a breech of confidentiality? Are all identification tags moved from human samples prior to being dumped in the garbage aftet testing?? Seriously useless.

  14. Anonymous says:

    EW! Scooped out, squeezed out, sliced out, contaminated body pieces and parts just waiting to be scavenged by wild dogs, birds, chickens, and or lizards.

    How absolutely third world.

    Grand Cayman is a pig sty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, we charge you first class prices for third-world service baby. Mwah!

      Enjoy your health decline!

  15. Anonymous says:

    HSA should have closed years ago. Government could most likely contact Health City to provide better healthcare for the money that is being spent on HSA .

    • Anonymous says:

      It is something that should have been explored by now so that an informed decision can be made on what is one of the most costly government operations. Unfortunately, too many people are benefiting from things as they are today so the chance of making and forward movement is zero.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t f#$% with Health City.

      Unless you want to die early.

  16. Da Realestate Gal says:

    What a mess eh? unfortunately this was doing of the previous Mr BIG shot who needs to be taken down off his little perch or a notch because he his literally gotten away with it. Now someone else has to clean up this awful mess.

  17. Scottie says:

    Kudos to Richard Simms and Mark Bothwell who are trying to fix this mess left for them by the previous office holder and driver of both Da Benz and a Range. As we can see exactly what his focus was on whilst in office. Its a crying shame these persons always get away with it though. Keep up good work guys this will past! I wonder if our dear minister even know whats going on? Have not heard a peep out of him!

  18. Big John Stud says:

    DEH was left in literally such a mess yet minister Seymour has done absolutely nothing to look into or to find why that was .people need to be held responsible and accountable for this terrible situation. Prosecuted if necessary too!!!! Someone need to light a fire underneath him Cayman this is disgraceful?

  19. Anonymous says:

    This country is doomed. Nothing is ever done properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet so much money being spent….Mama UK looking down, mouth-watering. We are about to be “let go”. We will make Jamaica look good.


  20. Baby Sham says:

    What a mess this place is in what happen to all these consultants the previous boss engaged and spent all this money on to deal with these issues. We need to investigate who stayed in the consultants accommodations after they left?????

  21. Anonymous says:

    Because our wonderful leaders are too busy playing footsie with the Dart Group & CHEC!
    But don’t worry, we will soon have the new port & an iconic new 50 story high rise!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your CIG is preparing to sign over the affairs of your Country to DART (if not already).

      You are going to become independent soon…..are you ready????

  22. Anonymous says:

    Switch to private company rental & collection.
    DoEH should simply get out of commercial garbage collection services.
    Concentrate on residential collection.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely correct, that’s what they did where I come from in the UK and it works perfectly because if the staff goof off like DEH do they get fired.

  23. gee says:

    We are becoming so third world isn’t funny anymore! we need proper everything in this place, and we have people in positions of power that are use to living like this.

  24. Anonymous says:

    But they want 100k people on the rock and skyscrapers.

  25. Blank Stare says:

    You are absolutely right 9:27pm previous director did absolutely nothing and hopefully the garbage dumpster favoritism app on his phone was turned off too before it was handed over. We are calling now for a full investigation into the previous director bias policies and decisions and mismanagement inorder to get to the root of the problems we are now encountering at DEH . Here here!!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    This has been going for years. I can remember bags of waste piled up like this at the dump awaiting incineration back in 2007. What isn’t anyone doing anything?

  27. Anonymous says:

    This country is doomed.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Lies, lies, lies all lies. This government cannot even pick up the trash on a reliable basis, how the heXX do they think they can manage an island with skyscrapers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart will manage by bringing in the thousands and thousands of people that would be needed most likely. They might as well just go ahead and carve out some Caymanian reservations from now!

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