Safety, convenience go for a toss at Amritsar civil hospital

  • Divya Sharma, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 02, 2016 15:22 IST
Patients forced to take the ramp in absence of functional elevators in the old building of the hospital in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

The local civil hospital, which sees a heavy footfall of patients on a daily basis, is poorly equipped to prevent any fire emergency.

The fire-fighting system is in tatters at the hospital. Hosepipes are missing from the fire-fighting equipment at the entrance. The situation has been the same for a long time.

In some parts of the hospital, sand is missing from buckets installed to douse flames the traditional way. The existing fire extinguishers are not adequate in number, putting a question mark on whether they would be enough to avert any untoward situation.

Mangat Ram, a visitor to the hospital, said, “Concrete steps should be taken to ensure safety of patients. Fire-safety is a basic facility that should have been ensured at the hospital.”

Missing fire-fighting equipment at the civil hospital. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

As if neglecting safety of patients, their attendants and doctors is not enough, the hospital authorities are not even caring about their convenience. Elevators in the old building do not function properly, and people have to take the stairs or the ramp to reach wards and departments on upper floors.

Daljit Singh, who was accompanying a patient to the civil hospital, said: “The hospital should pay special attention to providing basic facilities, such as functional elevators, to patients. Also, mock drills should be conducted for fire-safety.”

Senior medical officer Rajindra Arora said: “We have sent a request to the authorities concerned for upgrading the fire-safety equipment. Elevators in the new building are functioning, and we will repair the ones in the other building as well.”

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