Meeting Desperate Needs for Medical Supplies

Hospitals & Health Networks published an article by Paul B. Hofmann, Dr.P.H. – a MedShare Board Member


In the most desperate developing countries in the world, children and adults suffer and die every day because their physicians, hospitals and clinics — if they exist — lack the necessary supplies and equipment to treat them. According to the World Health Organization, more than 10 million children younger than age 5 die in these countries each year due to inadequate medical care. Potentially life-saving surgeries are cancelled because there are no sutures. Hospitals are overcrowded; patients often lie three to a bed. Physicians wash, patch and reuse exam gloves — or they use plastic bags as exam gloves — to protect themselves from diseases such as AIDS.

At the same time, U.S. hospitals discard an estimated $6.5 billion of medical supplies and equipment each year. Every day, tons of medical waste are dumped into landfills — 85 percent of which is nonhazardous, nonbiological solid waste. These supplies are discarded because of technological change, regulatory requirements, production overages and procedural excess. Much of the waste is still viable. (Full Article Here)