Telangana

Gandhi Hospital is not fire-safe

The Special Newborn Care Unit at Gandhi Hospital, which the Countess of Wessex Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones visited on Monday, does not have the required fire-fighting equipment.

Those who visit the tertiary healthcare facility would be at risk if there is a fire accident as the entire hospital, including the emergency block, lacks the crucial equipment for the past many years.

While hose boxes are intact, the fire hoses have been stolen and have not been replaced. Hose reels are broken and the hospital does not have the required number of fire extinguisher cylinders.

On any given day, there would be around 15,000 people in the hospital, including over 2,000 patients, their attendants, doctors, nurses, staff and others. Besides the lack of fire-fighting equipment, there are only two entry and exit points in the five-floor emergency block. Patients with fractures and major injuries, undergo surgeries in operation theatres there. An ICU with 65 beds, isolation ward, too is located in the same building.

In case of a fire accident at the State-run hospital, thousands of lives would be at risk. As recent as on Saturday, the corridor on the first floor of the emergency block was filled with smoke as there was a minor fire in a circuit board. Despite Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, former Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy and others visiting the hospital, the issue remains unrectified.

Officials rue that since the hospital does not have fire-fighting equipment, fire safety mock drills cannot be conducted. In fact, when the personnel from Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department had visited the hospital with VIPs, to rescue them in case of fire accidents, they were helpless in the absence of fire-fighting equipment. Superintendent P. Shravan Kumar said they had requested the Director of Medical Education (DME) in 2017 to provide them with fire-fighting equipment, but the no avail. The DME, K. Ramesh Reddy, had earlier said that he too was pursuing the issue with the officials of Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMIDC).

When contacted, the officials of TSMIDC and the hospital said the issue was brought to notice of Health Minister Eatala Rajender, who had given instructions to the concerned officials to make necessary arrangements. “The issue is being taken up on a priority basis. Since the model code of conduct is in force, tenders in this regard cannot be floated,” said an TSMIDC official.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 11:26:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/gandhi-hospital-is-not-fire-safe/article26996733.ece

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