BHUBANESWAR: Bowing to the pressure from several private health care institutions to amend the Clinical Establishments (Control and Regulation) Act, Health Department has urged the Home Department to categorise clinical establishments on the lines of shopping malls, mercantile and residential buildings while issuing fire safety certificates.Health Secretary Dr Pramod Meherda has requested Additional Chief Secretary of Home Department to consider for categorisation of clinical establishments under Fire Safety Rules, 2017.
He has suggested to divide clinical establishments in four categories and making the fire safety certificate mandatory for certain categories while ensuring provision of minimum fire safety measures for the rest of them by a self-declaration.The categories include clinical establishments having height of more than 12 metre, functioning in buildings having more than three floors (underground, basement, stilt and mezzanine floors), having more than 30 beds or any intensive care unit.
Dr Meherda cited that in the Rules, certain premises/occupancies which are similarly placed as clinical establishments, have been sub categorised like hostels, lodgings, guest houses, malls, shopping complexes, mercantile and residential buildings for the fire safety certificate.The State has more than 1700 registered clinical establishments of which at least 70 per cent are very small. Those include pathology units, poly clinics, dental units and X-ray and USG units, which mostly run in small rooms and do not have beds or ICUs.
The Health Department argued that such establishments are not prone to major fire incidents. In view of this, the Director General of Fire Service, Home Guards and Civil Defence has rightly categorised the clinical establishments into two types for fire safety requirements.However, the Rules notified on September 29, last year has clubbed all the clinical establishments into one category making the norms uniform, the Health Secretary pointed out and urged the Home Secretary to consider categorisation of health institutions.
On May 25, all private health care institutions had downed their shutters in response to a 24-hour strike called by All Odisha Private Medical Establishment Forum in protest against the Rules, which they claimed have resulted a standstill situation in registration and renewal of clinical establishments.