Special Correspondent- 1 April, 2017: Over 400 government and private hospitals housed in high-rise complexes in the capital lack adequate fire protection and other safety measures, running high risk of fire and earth quake accident.
The healthcare institutions may turn into death traps for patients and staff if any fire breaks out there, but the authorities concerned are indifferent to it, the fire service and civil defence high officials said.
The high officials made a report after visiting a total of 433 hospitals across the capital in the first week of March, 2017. Of the hospitals, 422 were identified as risky. A total of 248 hospitals are marked as risky while 174 are extremely risky, sources said.
According to thy health experts, patients who remain at the ICU, CCU and postoperative care unit will be more vulnerable in case of any fire incident while cardiac patients may die after hearing news of fire.
Seeking not to be named, an official of Fire Service and Civil Defence in this connection said, ‘Most of the private healthcare institutions do not have adequate fire safety measures’.
Dr Arefin Siddique, a noted health expert, said that many fire incidents are taking place in the capital as well as in the country. But fire incidents at hospitals are very rare in the country.
“We have to take pragmatic steps to install fire safety equipment in hospitals so that the hospital authorities can take prompt steps to extinguish fire for saving lives of many patients,” he added.
Responding to the issue, Director of Fire Service and Civil Defence Major Shakil said all private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres should take fire security clearance certificates from the Fire Service and Civil Defence.
However, Director-Hospital of Directorate of Health Services Dr Sayedur Rahman said that they are not issuing any licence for hospitals unless they have fire security clearance certificate.