On the fateful eve of 17th October, 2016 a spark of fire was noticed in the Dialysis unit of the IMS and SUM hospital by some staff members. They immediately complained about it to the electric manager, but sadly as the human race goes the laid back manager did not pay a heed to it and something of uncontrollable extent took place. Oddly enough the dialysis unit is separated by cardboards from the ICU unit which resulted in spreading of the spark like forest fire. The patients inside the ICU were immediately removed from the life support system (my question here is what good did it actually do?).
One more point that must be raised here is that while private hospitals should have backup ICUs, this hospital does not have one and still admits patients risking their lives right from the beginning. Lack of back up ICU s took the lives of twenty patients and five more patients were burnt to death. Though we have emergency fire brigade services, they were contacted after a good 45 minutes. Patients who had chances to survive were hurled like rugby balls from the 1st and 2nd floors. What strikes me here is if hospitals can turn into such death traps where are we supposed to go for our safety concerns, whom are we supposed to rely on. But the story does not here, more spine chilling details have come to the surface which will leave us open mouthed.
After the fire brigade service intervened, they found out that the fire safety measures were never met as a result of which a risk always remained and the worst of the situations became a reality. The DGP of the fire brigade filed a case against the electrician, electrical engineer, electrical manager as well as the medical superintendent. After it got featured in News Hour by Arnab Goswami the owner of the institution, ManojNayak got arrested, though GopabandhuKar, the managing member is not yet arrested.
Odiya tv, a news channel in Bhuvaneswar revealed that the hospital’s license was cancelled almost two months before the fateful incident took place by National Accreditation of Board of Hospitals and Health care Providers. Even the Bhuvaneswar authority has not authorized the building’s top two floors as the area is earthquake prone. Many have protested the arrest of Manoj Nayak saying entrepreneurs like him should be respected. But some other reports subtly hint towards his strong political connections.
Whatever the backstory might be the reality still lies bland on the face that 20+ patients were literally engulfed by a cruel fire in a hospitals which is supposed to be a haven for the sick. It seems that fires in hospitals are becoming more frequent. This incident reminds me of the chilling fire that burnt down a good portion of a very well know hospital in Kolkata.
That incident also witnessed the death of many helpless victims. Patients are at their weakest inside a hospital – both mentally and physically. We the common people feel relieved when we admit our loved ones to hospitals thinking they will get the best of treatments. But how many of us ever give it a thought that they might be burnt down in a place which is apparently the safest. With influential people like Maboj Nayak getting a bail even after such a heart rending incident makes us question the laws of the country again and again.
The question that burns in bright flames is that how can a construction which has so many shortcomings be allowed to take up a responsibility as grave as curing sick people. How come the electricity safety measures were never met but the hospital ran without hindrance. Good business is the pulse of the time but should curing patients be considered just as another money making game? Who will answer for all these merciless killings is something we need to talk about, think about.
Note: Image used in this post is only for representational purposes.