Lack of fire safety a worry in Mulund ESIC Hospital

Published - December 20, 2018 01:25 am IST - Mumbai

Hazardous:  A heap of debris and garbage is seen in a corridor in ESIC Hospital, Mulund,  on Wednesday.

Hazardous: A heap of debris and garbage is seen in a corridor in ESIC Hospital, Mulund, on Wednesday.

Since the fire at the ESIC Hospital in Marol on Monday, patients and visitors have started fearing a similar occurrence in the corporation’s hospital in Mulund.

The hospital, where nearly 150 patients seek treatment every day, has never been renovated since it was set up in 1977. The ceiling plaster has given way, and several wards have been shut for the past few years.

A visit to the hospital revealed that while there are fire extinguishers, they are not always easily accessible. In one case, the extinguisher was used to prop up a curtain on the second floor. The hospital does not have firefighting equipment, and no ICU either. In emergencies, patients are shifted to JJ or KEM hospitals and later reimbursed.

Dr. Ganesh Jadhav, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, “I agree that the hospital does not have adequate firefighting equipment. We have written to the government to upgrade the building, and [after we get approval] we can put new equipment. We ensure that our patients are safe, and after the fire in Andheri, we have kept an eye on risky spots like operation theatres.”

Patients and visitors were concerned about the state of firefighting equipment. Mohammad Sadeeq Malik, a visitor, said, “I have not seen a single piece of firefighting equipment, apart from a few extinguishers that are not easily accessible. The ceiling plaster looks like it will fall any moment. I hope that after the unfortunate incident in Andheri, more precautions are taken here.”

Prakash Jagadhane, a patient, said the hospital was well ventilated, so chances of a fire seemed low. But he said proper facilities must be in place. Employees said multiple complaints of the ceiling plaster breaking off have fallen on deaf ears.

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