New fire safety guidelines for hospitals on anvil: Govt

Describing as “very shocking” the SUM hospital fire, Nadda said taking lessons from this incident, certain safety issues need to re-revisited. “Fresh advisory will be given to all states so that such incidents don’t reoccur,” he said. 

The health minister was talking to the media after visiting survivors of the incident at various hospitals and visiting the tragedy site. 

The minister said though the fire safety and security issues come under the home departments of the states, his ministry would examine how more stringent provisions can be made in the Clinical Establishment Acts by the respective state governments. 

What has come out is, protocols need to be followed and system of management of (disaster) should be more comprehensive, he said. 

Pointing out that “there are serious issues that led to the incident, the minister said there was breach in safety measures which should have been in place. “This is an incident of serious nature. We should take steps so that it doesn’t reoccur. Culprits should not go scot-free,” he said. 

Stating that it was for the state government to act, Nadda said appropriate action must be taken so that people’s faith (on health care system) is reposed. 

Referring to reports that SUM Hospital doesn’t have fire safety clearance, the minister said the state government has to take appropriate action. 

Taking an indirect dig at the state government, Nadda said the particular hospital is empaneled by the state government for providing assistance under various schemes. “This means the government is recommending patients (to get treatment in the hospital),” he said.

He said the state should take serious action and culprits must not go scot-free. 

Mentioning about recent incidents of Japanese outbreak, Nadda said one wonders why such incidents are happening time and again in Odisha. 

The state government should act and react on time. The Centre is ready to provide all supports, he said.

Meanwhile, in a shocking claim, the National Human Rights Commission said only three of Odisha’s 568 hospitals have fire safety clearance and issued a notice to the state government over the hospital tragedy, the worst of its kind in the state. 

“In Odisha, out of 568 hospitals, only three have clearance of the department of fire safety,” the NHRC said in a statement today and issued a notice to the Odisha Chief Secretary, seeking a report in the matter within six weeks, including on the relief and rehabilitation efforts for the next of kin of the deceased and the injured.
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