A tragic fire mishap at a private hospital in Virar which led to the deaths of 15 patients in April this year, had prompted the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) to order electric and fire audits of private and public healthcare establishments in the twin-city. However, only 88 out of the 166 private hospitals have so far conducted electrical audits and submitted certificates to the civic body.
The remaining establishments including hospitals, nursing and maternity homes have failed to comply despite multiple reminders and notices issued by MBMC’s health department in the past six months, exposing their apathy towards the safety and well-being of their staff and patients.
The matter came up for discussion during a review meeting on Covid readiness of the civic body amid rising concerns on the new variant Omicron.
Detailed discussions were held on vaccinations, treatment and quarantine facilities that have been deactivated temporarily since there are very few patients.
“All Covid facilities have completed fire and electrical audits. However, it’s mandatory for all non-Covid hospitals to get the audits done. Hospitals need to keep a watch on the health of their electrical infra and fire safety equipment. We will give a final 7-day ultimatum failing which steps will be taken to cancel registration of erring hospitals in accordance with the provisions Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act,” confirmed municipal commissioner Dilip Dhole.
Apart from overloading and malfunctioning gadgets, the most common cause of fires in hospitals has turned out to be electrical short circuits in the air conditioning systems. High oxygen content in the air, sanitizer spills compounds the problem, this stressing the importance of regular electrical audits and also compliance to fire-safety rules.