Bhubaneswar hospital fire: NHRC issues notice to Odisha government

The Odisha government has decided to audit all government-run healthcare facilities in the state.

The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday issued notice to the Odisha government over the fire mishap at Bhubaneswar’s SUM Hospital which left 22 people dead. Meanwhile, union health minister JP Nadda visited fire-hit SUM Hospital to take stock of the situation.

“Prima facie I find some safety issues which need to be addressed. The people’s faith need to be reposed,” ANI quoted him as saying. Earlier, the Odisha government at a high-level meeting decided to audit all the government-run healthcare facilities in the state. The state government has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of patients who died during the mishap.

The fire took place on Monday at the dialysis ward on the hospital’s first floor. The flames took no time to spread to the nearby intensive care unit (ICU) ward on the same floor. It is suspected that the incident occurred due to short circuit. On the basis of initial probe, the Odisha government on Tuesday filed two criminal cases against the hospital on charges of negligence and initiated an investigation into the incident. Later, four hospital staff members were arrested by the police on allegations of negligence of conduct.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that the hospital had lost its accreditation two months ago with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, the Indian Express reported. The hospital administration was also functioning without a fire-safety clearance certificate after 2013, with a mock drill finding out that the personnel employed were not efficiently trained.