Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Medical Equipment


This Author found himself projecting several evil Scenarios while reading this short article. Many conditions seem to threaten adequate disposal of medical equipment. There is a shortage of overall Guidelines available to determine whether medical equipment should be junked, recycled, resold, traded in, or donated. Leeway is granted for malfesiance, carelessness, and/or destruction of usable equipment. It appears obvious to this Author that only about 25% of current exchanged medical equipment is being properly vented.

An Industry Board should be formed to oversee all such medical equipment transfers, and not necessarily Governmentally regulated. All Donated medical equipment should be routed through a central Testing agency (possibly Private funded), who would certify the equipments' functionality alongside determination as to the proper donation recepient (possess the Support services necessary). This Agency could also provide uninstaller capacities at uniform charge to defray Testing Costs and determinations, along with donation installing. Medical equipment companies who utilize Trade-ins should be forced to surrender said Trade-ins for inspection before recycling or junking, and medical facilities should be forestalled from cannibalizing medical equipment for Spare Parts prior to this transfer; medical equipment companies charged for the Testing, and medical facilities charged for the uninstall. This central Testing Agency should be charged with supervision of all Waste and Recycling procedures used in disposal of medical equipment.

Most would criticize the Program as another huge bureaucracy being created, but a chartered Public Corporation could serve nicely as such an overseeing Agent, and one which could be mostly Privately funded, with only Public Start-Up capitalization. A Savings of only 25% of the estimated $8 bn worth of discarded and mishandled medical equipment per year would make the Program worthwhile. Donations to foreign medical facilities would be adequately handled, with Service and Replacement capacity available. The Costs of Recycling and Waste disposal could actually be reduced, as standardized Procedures are adopted. It is worth consideration. lgl

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