Mumbai: Don’t bring plastic bags to hospitals, patients’ relatives told

Mumbai: City hospitals are keeping strict vigil on relatives of patients bringing in plastic bags as they enter hospital premises. Both private and civic hospitals have instructed their security personnel ensure that plastic bags do not make it past their threshold. A senior doctor said most patients in the hospitals are from rural areas and because of the rains, they carry plastic bags to protect their hospital files and clothes. But since Maharashtra’s plastic ban came into effect from June 23, bags are being collected at the entry points and people are informed about the decision so that they spared paying the steep fine.

“Security personnel at the entrance of the every civic-run hospital are apprising patients’ relatives about the ban and are seizing their plastic carry bags. Moreover, patients who have been admitted have also been instructed not to use plastic,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of the King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital.

Private hospitals like Lilavati and Bombay Hospital are also spreading awareness about the plastic ban among patients and their relatives. But they are also ensuring that no patient or relative is inconvenienced in case of emergencies. “We are making all efforts to make hospital premises plastic-free and asking patients’ relatives to opt for alternatives,” said Ajay Kumar Pande, a vice-president of Lilavati Hospital.

Chemists take paper, cloth route for prescriptions

Chemists and druggists near hospitals have started giving out medicine in paper envelopes or cloth bags, for which they are charging extra. “As per the rules of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, we have stopped using plastic bags and using alternate options for dispensing medicine. Medicines are being given in paper envelopes or cloth bags as per the quantity of medicines,” said a chemist from Kamal Medical Store, Kalachowki.

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