KARACHI– The recent fire incident at JPMC lead the Sindh Government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) hospitals to focus on arranging advanced fire safety equipment, for protection of patients, attendants, medical staff and hospital’s costly diagnostic equipment.
It was disclosed that, KMC hospitals like Dr. Ruth K.M Pfau, Civil Hospital Karachi, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases, Sindh Government Services Hospital Karachi, National Institute of Child Health and other district hospitals lack basic fire safety equipment, in case of any fire incident caused either by short-circuit or other reasons.
However, the authoritative heads of Sindh government and KMC hospitals have also not been implementing fire safety rules in their respective health facilities.
Both minor and fierce fire incidents have previously been reported in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and others hospitals in last few years, but no concrete efforts were made to protect patients, medical staff and costly equipment.
On January 2015, fire broke out at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) disrupting most of the emergency services, including surgeries in the gynecology ward, the X-ray, CT scan and other lab facilities.
Similarly, another fire incident took place at the Emergency Department, JPMC, due to short circuit, compelling the administration to shift patients to other departments. Fortunately, no loss of life was reported.
It was also learned that most of the fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers in KMC and Sindh government health facilities are either outdated or non-functional. The hospital’s staff members are also not trained to handle fire extinguishers in case of fire emergency.
Senior Director, Medical and Health Services, KMC, Dr. Birbal Genani, was not available for comments.