New Delhi: With Kolkata`s AMRI hospital fire
fresh in its mind, the Centre has directed all states and
Union Territories to tighten norms in granting licence to open
new medical institutes and ensure fire safety provisions
mandatory for launching any such new ventures.
The Home Ministry order came weeks after a devastating
fire at the Kolkata hospital claimed more than 90 lives, most
of whom were patients.
All the states and UTs were directed to ensure that
hospital building bylaws provide for mandatory fire safety
"We have asked the states to make fire safety provisions
as mandatory licencing condition for setting up new medical
institute. Without fire safety provisions, no licence should
be given to anyone for setting up any hospital or nursing
home," a Home Ministry official said.
The states and UTs also were directed to conduct the fire
safety audit in all major hospitals and nursing homes through
the State Department of Fire and Emergency Services and ensure
that the safety measures put in place by the respective
institute were adequate to deal with any emergency situation.
The Home Ministry asked that mock drills should be
conducted in some of these hospitals and nursing homes to see
how doctors and nursing staff respond in case of emergency and
their patient evacuation plans.
The state governments and UT administrations were asked
to ensure that all hospitals and nursing homes equip their
institutions with the required fire-fighting gadgets to avoid
any untoward incident.
On December 9, 2011, a devastating fire gutted a major
portion of the AMRI Hospital in Kolkata killing at least 93
people, mostly patients admitted there.