BHUBANESWAR: Union health minister J P Nadda today acknowledged there were serious lapses in the safety measures taken by the SUM Hospital where a fire on Monday claimed 21 lives, and said a fresh advisory would be issued to states laying down protocols and operational guidelines prescribed under the Clinical Establishments Act.
Visitng the injured patients who are being treated at five different hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, Nadda said it was for the Naveen Patnaik government of Odisha to find the persons who were responsible for safety measures at SUM going awry.
"We found some serious lapses," he said. "SUM Hospital did not have adequate safety measures. It is for the state government to take appropriate action and ensure that the culprits do not go scot-free."
Since SUM is a government-empanelled health institution, it was the responsibility of the Odisha government to monitor whether the recommended protocols and guidelines are properly followed by hospitals, he said.
The health minister recommended exemplary action against the guilty.
As the state government has instituted an administrative inquiry into the fire, Nadda said the next course of action by the Centre would depend on the outcome of the probe.
"I am not here to play any blame game," he said.
Nadda also reviewed the situation relating to the spread of Japanese encephalitis and malaria in seven tribal districts at a high-level meeting attended by Odisha's health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and senior officers of the health department.
Accompanied by Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Nadda met patients at Capital Hospital, AIIMS, AMRI and KIMS Hospitals. The two ministers also visited the fire-ravaged Sum Hospital.