Lack of fire safety equipment at Khurda hospital endangering patients, staff

Khurda: While the Centre and the State government are focussed on extending universal healthcare coverage to the people, infrastructure at government hospitals leaves much to be desired. A glaring example of such utter neglect is the Khurda district headquarter hospital.

While the hospital lacks minimum facilities like ECG machines or an operational ultrasound department, its fire safety equipment are outdated and stray dogs inside the premises are a regular sight. With the people of Banpur, Balugaon, Tangi, Khurda, Begunia, Bolagarh and Jatni dependent on the hospital, such lack of facilities at the hospital has left them in distress.

“While thousands of patients and their relatives visit the hospital, there is no fire safety system. Moreover, the ultrasound department is closed,” said Abhiram Barisal, a relative of a patient.

According to sources, the patients and their relatives have time and again questioned the fire safety measures at the hospital and the electric wiring can be found open at various places, raising concern for short circuit and fire.

Susanta Mohan Patnaik, a patient’s attendant said, “The hospital staff is itself not safe here, forget about the patients.”

Khurda CDMO, Bijay Kumar Mohapatra said, “I have issued instructions to provide the required equipment and ensure that necessary fire-safety measures are put in place. We are trying to bring necessary changes with the limited resources available with us.”