Policy Or Income To Affect The Generation Of Medical Wastes: An Application Of Environmental Kuznets Curve
Since the implementation of National Health Insurance in Taiwan, the provision of medical services has risen dramatically, which results in the generation of medical waste increases over time and thus makes a negative influence on the environment as well as the public safety. Therefore, it is urgent to solve the threat from the medical waste by effective management of the generation of medical waste. In order to overcome the problems, this paper attempts to examine whether the reduction in medical wastes can spontaneously happen along with economic growth in society and to investigate the factors of affecting the generation of medical wastes by six models proposed in this paper. The six models employ the concept of the environmental Kuznets Curve to investigate the causal relationship between incomes and the generation of medical wastes. A regression analysis is conducted to test the hypothesis of the environmental Kuznets Curve for the generation of medical wastes and illegal disposal. The results find no evidence to support the environmental Kuznets Curve phenomenon for the generation of general medical wastes, but the generation of medical wastes is positively related with incomes and medical capacity, but negatively with the medical policy. By contrast, the results identify the existence of the environmental Kuznets Curve phenomenon for illegal disposal. In addition, illegal disposal is positively affected by medical capacity but negatively by the medical policy. This implies that the medical policy is an effective instrument of reducing both the generation of medical wastes and illegal disposal. The medical policy may play an important role in reducing the impact of medical waste disposal at source and the government also can provide some incentives for the research and development of medical equipment and supplies to reduce the generation of medical wastes. Moreover, the government should treat the policy as a tool to control the generation of medical waste more actively.
Index Terms - Medical waste, public safety, illegal disposal, environmental Kuznets Curve, medical policy.