BMC directs fire brigade to carry out safety audit in Mumbai civic hospitals

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked the Mumbai Fire Brigade to carry out a fire audit at various civic hospitals in the city. This direction comes in the wake of the fire which occurred at the ESIC Hospital, Andheri, in December 2018.

Fire department officials said they had begun the audits and would shortly submit reports to the civic administration. The fire audit would cover civic hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries and health centres.

The fire department plans to audit 28 nursing homes, 16 peripheral hospitals, 175 dispensaries and 208 health centres in the process. According to available data, only five major BMC hospitals and 204 dispensaries were inspected in 2018. No inspection was carried out in private hospitals or those run by other government agencies.

The audit will be followed by awareness programmes at these hospitals. A training module for hospital staff is also in the works. “Government hospitals will be taken up on a priority basis in view of the footfall they see, after which we will move to private hospitals,” said a senior civic official.

Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said, “We have been asked to review fire compliance in civic hospitals and will submit a report soon.” Asked about the poor progress in inspecting hospitals, a fire official said, “We had asked all hospitals to submit audit reports every six months, like other buildings in the city. But none of the five major hospitals inspected this year have submitted compliance reports.”

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