National News

Lack of Fire Safety protocols in medical institutions


MN Report

KARACHI – All major public-sector hospitals of Karachi urgently need installation of fire safety equipment and other rescue measures to protect medical staff and diagnostic equipment in emergency situations.
The government run hospitals have failed in implementing their rules for fire safety and other rescue measures. Because all major government hospitals including; Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Civil Hospital Karachi, Sindh Services Hospital Karachi, National Institute of Child Health and others, lack basic fire safety equipment.
The officials of hospitals admitted that almost all government hospitals lack basic fire safety equipment. The hospitals administration installed fire safety equipment on several occasions, but later these equipment were removed from healthcares due to unknown reasons. 
The medical staff said; fire extinguishers are necessary for every public sector hospital to ensure safety of; patients, attendants, medics, paramedics and provincial health department. We need to provide fire extinguishers to public hospitals as a precautionary measure.
An official at Civil Hospital Karachi, wishing not be named, quoted a recent incident in Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Karachi, where a fire broke out and damaged cables of major equipment and also suspended the water supply to the institution. 
He said; water tanks made of fiberglass were burnt in the incident, while cables of CT scan, MRI machine and others important equipment were also damaged in the same incident. 
He demanded of the high-ups of health department to provide fire extinguishers at all hospitals, ensuring that they are useful when needed and people know how to use them. 
Senior leader of Pakistan Medical Association – Center, Dr Qaisar Sajjad said; Fire incidents have become common in public and private sector hospitals nowadays, due to non-implementation of fire safety measures and short-circuits due to poor cable installation.  He said only few private hospitals are following the fire safety protocols.
He said every hospital should be provided with better equipment for coping with emergency situations. Major public and private sector hospitals should be equipped with fire extinguishers and other rescue instruments. Hospitals staff and general public should be trained, how to handle the fire extinguishers in emergency like situation.  
Authorities concerned should provide fire extinguishers to all government hospitals, government departments and high-rise buildings of government.  He said firefighting equipment must be provided in every ward, along with training to exercise the fire dousing operations.

March 28, 2015

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