Guwahati, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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Govt to act tough against hospitals

 GUWAHATI, Oct 18 - In the wake of the massive fire which broke out at a hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening claiming 20 lives so far, the State Government has threatened to act tough against all the hospitals that choose to overlook the fire safety preparedness.

 The Health Department has decided to direct the hospital authorities to go for a review of the existing safety mechanism and plug the loopholes wherever necessary, which will later be verified by experts.

It has been reliably learnt that a high percentage of hospitals, be it the government or the private ones, do not have the requisite fire safety clearance issued by the authorities concerned.

In fact, some of the premier hospitals in the State are blatantly flouting the safety norms issued by the National Buildings Construction Corporation.

Wasting no time however, the State Fire Service Organisation (SFSO) has decided to go for a fire safety verification drive of all the major hospitals, including the six medical colleges in the State.

All the district fire service units have been instructed to assess the preparedness of the hospitals and prepare a report at the earliest.

The verification drive concerning fire safety preparedness in all the government and private hospitals would primary assess the existing evacuation mechanism that would come into play in the event of a fire tragedy.

When contacted, Special Director General of SFSO, AP Rout told this reporter that following the fire tragedy that hit the Bhubaneswar hospital last evening, the department does not want to take any chance with the safety of the people, more so in lifeline buildings like hospitals.

“I have instructed my teams across the State today to conduct a thorough assessment of fire safety preparedness at hospitals, with special stress on the evacuation process,” the Special DG pointed out.

“Be it the intensive care units, operation theatres or the general ward of the hospitals, they must have a proper evacuation route, which we are primarily going to assess,” Rout said.

He said the department will leave no stone unturned to do whatever is necessary to ensure safety of the indoor patients and hospital staff as well.

“The hospitals are of top priority and once the safety of these setups are ensured, we will replicate similar assessment drive for other vulnerable setups as well,” Rout added.

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