Health, safety, efficiency, cutting costs.
I'm not sure if this is a business issue but it can certainly be made one.
Yesterday there was a report that human flesh had been found on surgical implements in a hospital. Having been treated in this particular hospital – albeit more years ago than I care to remember – I was horrified.
Though the contaminated batch was spotted at the hospital, I cannot think there must be better, more efficient, and possibly cheaper ways of running operating theatres.
These instruments are sterilised by private companies. This is a job that could surely be better done in-house but it would be much better if scalpels and other such implements were only ever used once.
These instruments are all made from high quality steel. There is no reason most of them could not be manufactured from plastic, mostly it is only the blades that need to be metal. Scalpels made of plastic apart from the blades would be cheaper, lighter and easily disposed of and recycled. Ditto other such implements.
Disposable instruments bought in bulk would almost certainly be no more expensive than regular ones, and the possibility of contamination would be eliminated.