BHADRAK:The District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) and private hospitals in Bhadrak continue to flout fire safety norms with impunity. They have neither trained manpower for handling fire extinguishers nor essential fire fighting equipment in place. The building too does not adhere to the fire safety norms.
The District Headquarters Hospital in Bhadrak has 232 beds but currently houses 400 indoor patients. There are only a few fire extinguishers installed in the hospital with little space for movement in the main corridor.
Apparently, the DHH does not have emergency exit doors and adequate ventilation. The age-old fire extinguishers have never been examined whether they are in working condition or not and there is no manpower to operate them, said a senior clerk in the hospital, requesting anonymity.
The norms prescribed under Clinical Establishment Act mandate sufficient space in a hospital/nursing home for movement of fire brigade, underground and overhead water tanks, installation of sprinklers and fitting of water hose to be run by generators. As the DHH was constructed before 2015, it cannot adhere to the space norms, sources said.
Director of Health and Family Welfare Department has sent seven letters to the DHH authorities since February 2015 to follow the guidelines under the Clinical Establishment Act including compliance to fire safety norms. But, the authorities concerned have remained silent over the issue.
Similar is the case with 14 private hospitals and nursing homes most of which do not have emergency exits. Sources informed that a nursing home situated in the heart of the town has little space for fire fighting vehicles to move.
Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Ramesh Chandra Mohanty said the Collector has called for a meeting of the DHH and private hospital authorities on November 25 to discuss the issue. “A task force has been formed to review adherence of fire safety norms by all the health centres, both private and Government,” he said, adding that owners of private nursing homes have been asked to strictly follow the infrastructure norms under the Clinical Establishment Act.