Health care waste management in Palestine is driven by a number of concerns about potential health and environmental impacts. Actions to improve some practices in governmental as well as private hospitals have taken place but nevertheless, a number of challenges remain to be dealt with. In order to improve further the situation, since December 2020 the EU funded ‘Water and Environment Support (WES) project in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region’ has been providing technical assistance to the Environment Quality Authority (EQA) of Palestine for a sustainable Health Care Waste Management.

So far, the Master Plan for Health Care Waste and its Roadmap has been updated based on the activity’s inception report conclusions, extensive consultations with the EQA, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, and inspired by international benchmarking and based on cost / benefit analysis.

A key element to be considered for inclusion in healthcare waste management policies is a Contingency Plan for use during emergencies, to ensure continuity of healthcare waste management services and to minimize negative environmental health impacts. The WES team accordingly prepared such a draft plan to foster a common understanding of all partners involved on the anticipated scope of the emergency, the nature and scope of the planned operational response and to reflect specific challenges/gaps in the potential response.

The WES update work intends to ensure that health care waste is managed effectively, in compliance with existing laws and regulations, in order to protect healthcare workers, their clients (patients, caregivers and visitors) and the environment from potentially disease-causing waste materials.

At a Consultation Meeting that WES co-organised with the Environment Quality Authority (EQA) on the 24th of November 2022, the progress so far and the Updated Health Care Waste Master Plan and Health Care Waste Contingency Plan that resulted from the joint EQA and WES actions, were presented and discussed with … stakeholders. The aim was to collect views and inputs in order to finalise the two documents that will be available also on the WES website. The participants also decided collectively on what the focus of the WES training workshop on Health Care Waste Management that will take place in early 2023, will be.

This activity is implemented with the support and services of the Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+), the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), LDK Consultants Global EEIG and Royal Haskoning DHV (RHDHV).