Fire at Services Hospital
Once again short circuiting is being held responsible for the fire at Services Hospital that led to the tragic death of seven children. Short circuiting is a favourite explanation that exonerates everybody of culpability right from the ward in-charge to the administrator of the hospital who may otherwise all be having a share in the negligence that brought tragedy to six families on Thursday.
Incidents of fire have become a routine at the Services Hospital causing human casualties every year and leading to the destruction of costly hospital equipment and property. An investigation committee is appointed after every such incident but its report is never made public. One does not know, therefore, who is to be held responsible and what has been done to stop the recurrence of such incidents. Lack of transparency leads to pointing of fingers at all and sundry. This time too the aggrieved families shouted slogans against the top administration of the hospital. What saddened many were the earlier attempts by the civil and hospital administration to suppress the facts. They continued to deny the media reports of six deaths and insisted that there was only one mortal casualty. It was only by the evening when it was no more possible to deny the media tally. There was a lot of confusion. The administration maintained that the fire fighting equipment was available and in working condition but it was not used by the staff. There were complaints by the aggrieved families that fire fighters reached only after about an hour.
An enquiry team has been appointed as usual. There might be a need for a further and more comprehensive probe into the malaise that has caused the recurrence of the incident. What is needed is to make the report public. Services Hospital is a premier teaching hospital in the provincial capital. Considering the plight of the patients here, one can realise the plight of the hospitals in smaller cities.