Out of the 300 hospitals and nursing homes operating in Ludhiana, only 75 hospitals have received a fire-safety certificate from the fire department. All others, including the government-run Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, do not have a fire-safety certificate, which is mandatory as per norms.
Even more shocking is the fact that fire services, the MC and health department have no information about the actual number of private nursing homes and hospitals running in the city.
According to a fire services official, hospitals and nursing homes should have proper ramps, emergency doors, safe zones, fire hydrants and water-storage tank, along with other required equipment.
However, most hospitals in the city are operating without these safety equipment, putting lives of patients at risk.
After the fire incident at Mohandai Oswal Hospital, Ludhiana, in March this year, the MC’s additional commissioner had claimed that the civic body will take proper measures to check violations of fire safety norms in the hospitals, but nothing has been done so far.
“It is the responsibility of the MC and health department to keep a check on hospitals and nursing homes in the city. It should be ensured that hospitals and nursing homes follow fire safety norms and building bylaws and take strict action against the violators,” said Jagjeet Singh, a resident of Chandigarh Road.
Assistant divisional fire officer (ADFO), Bhupinder Singh, said that they have no information about the actual number of hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
However, he claimed that they will conduct a survey after Diwali to check the violations at medical institutes.
When contacted, Dr Renu Chhatwal, civil surgeon, said they have given instructions to all government-run hospitals in the district to ensure compliance of fire safety norms. She further claimed that she has no information regarding the status of fire arrangements at private hospitals.
National quality assurance programme officer, Dr Pardeep Sharma, oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, claimed that they have applied for fire safety certificate and they have all the necessary arrangements.
He said the clinical establishment bill is pending in the Parliament. Once it gets approval, we can know the actual number of private hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
Oswal hospital fire incident: Inquiry report submitted
As many as 132 patients were rescued after a fire broke out at Mohandai Oswal Hospital in March, following which, former MC commissioner GK Singh Dhaliwal had directed, the then, additional commissioner Davinder Singh to conduct inquiry in this regard. “I have received an inquiry report regarding Mohandai Oswal Hospital fire incident. The report states that a large amount of inflammable chemical was stored at the laboratory where the fire spread after the short circuit,” said MC commissioner.