May 28, 2024

Fire audit: Delhi hospitals told to complete fire audit by June 8 | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj has directed all private and public hospitals, irrespective of height and number of floors, to complete fire audits by June 8 and submit a compliance report to the health department.
The directions came after six newborns died in a fire at BabyCare Newborn Hospital in Vivek Vihar.
Speaking to media after a meeting with Ministry of Health officials, including the Directorate General of Health Services and the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Health, the Minister announced that two nurses and five members of the public would be nominated for the bravery of their work in rescuing an infant from a fire.
The minister said he had urged tax authorities to expedite the payment of compensation to grieving families.
The minister said there is a rule that hospitals less than nine metres in height do not require a fire NOC, which is why the hospital did not receive one. “Following this incident, I have directed all hospitals, whether one-storey or two-storey, to take all safety measures to deal with fire,” the minister said.
“We have instructed all district chief medical officers (CDMOs) to randomly inspect all private hospitals and nursing homes in their jurisdictions to prevent such incidents from happening in future,” he said.
Bharadwaj said the incident took place around 11.30 pm on Saturday but he was not informed about it by the health department. He got the information from the media the next day. He called the health minister but could not speak to him so he went himself. Even on Sunday, he called and messaged the health minister multiple times but did not get any information.
He said information from the health department showed the hospital was registered to run a five-bed nursing home from 2021 to 2024, with its registration expiring in March 2024. It applied for renewal in February but was given a “deficiency notice” because of missing documentation and had to submit more paperwork.
“The owner of this hospital is also running a similar hospital in Paschim Puri. He has faced cases twice. These cases are pending in Karkardooma and Tis Hazari courts. Several deficiencies were found during surprise inspections, leading to cases against him. He was once found running a hospital without the necessary registration, leading to another case,” the minister said.
Delhi BJP spokesman Praveen Shankar Kapoor said Bharadwaj's statement was an attempt to save face. “The people of Delhi want to tell Saurabh Bharadwaj that it doesn't matter who was the minister and when, be it 2021 or today. The government belongs to Arvind Kejriwal and Bharadwaj cannot evade the responsibility of the government,” he said. “Can Saurabh Bharadwaj tell us how many care homes he has inspected in the last one year?”
The Delhi Medical Association on Monday advised all its member hospitals to conduct fire safety audits at the earliest.
“Our focus will be on installation of equipment, staff training, fire audits etc,” chairman Alok Bhandari said.


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