Health Ministry Tackles Heatwave, Hospital Fire Prevention

The Union Health Ministry has conducted a comprehensive review meeting with States/UTs to address the ongoing heatwave and potential hospital fire risks. States have been instructed to strictly enforce fire safety protocols in all healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and dispensaries.

Heat-Related Action Plan

The directives include implementing heat-related action plans, disseminating IMD’s early warning system for heatwaves, and assessing healthcare facilities, ambulances, and heat-related cases. Surveillance of stroke cases and deaths is also crucial during this period.

Fire Safety Measures

Several states have taken commendable steps to enhance fire safety awareness. Madhya Pradesh has conducted mock-drill exercises in government and private hospitals, and Odisha has established heatwave control rooms. Uttar Pradesh has initiated ‘DASTAK’ campaigns to educate the public, and Haryana has provided dedicated financial allocation for essential drugs and logistics.

Ambulance Preparedness

In Rajasthan, ambulances responding to emergency calls are equipped with cooling appliances. West Bengal and Bihar’s fire departments are actively inspecting hospitals to verify fire prevention systems and issuing safety certificates accordingly. Mock drills are being organized to test evacuation and firefighting protocols.

Delhi’s Initiatives

The Delhi government has issued detailed directives and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for firefighting systems in all government and private hospitals. Last month’s tragic fire incident in East Delhi, which claimed the lives of seven newborns, has heightened the need for robust safety measures.

Mandatory Safety Plans

The Health Ministry has emphasized that smaller healthcare facilities, including both government and private institutes, must have mandatory fire evacuation plans and firefighting systems if they do not possess a fire no-objection certificate (NOC).

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