Meghalaya hospitals told to fit safety tools

Shillong: Following the AMRI hospital disaster in Kolkata, Meghalaya government today directed the state hospitals to install facilities for the safety of patients and personnel in the event of an emergency.

Terming AMRI incident where 93 persons, mostly patients, were died of asphyxiation earlier this month as an eye-opener, Additional Deputy Commissioner D M Wahlang said, "It is important that we have every safety plan in place in any case of an emergency."

This was more important for the North East as the entire region lies in seismic zone 5, areas with the highest risks of earthquakes, Wahlang said "having fire safety and emergency response team in place are of prime importance."

He had a meeting with representatives from at least 10 private hospitals at his office during the day to discuss how to improve safety measures.

The hospital authorities have consented to have fire alarms and smoke detectors installed at each room of every floors, he said.

"We will write to each hospital to have special teams from the fire department and the electrical department of the PWD to inspect their infrastructure," Wahlang said.

Woodland Hospital managing director W Kharshiing said, "The government should come up with guidelines for hospitals, especially those who are in the pipeline, to stick to strict safety measures."

Other suggestions by hospitals included training of staff on safety in an emergency situation, regular drill, having bright indicators on the floor to guide patients to the exit and forming an expert panel to set guidelines.