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B&J Hospital to be made fully functional within ten days: ACS

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Says, no injury or major damage reported; hails local volunteers for their help



SRINAGAR, March 5: Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health and Medical Education (H&ME), Vivek Bhardwaj today asserted that Bone and Joint Hospital, which suffered huge losses due to a massive fire incident late last evening, will be made fully functional in 8 to 10 days after obtaining structure certificate from Public Works Department (PWD).

Talking to the media after assessing the damage to the hospital, Bhardwaj said no major damage has been reported in the incident which he said took place in the Emergency Operation theatre of the facility late last evening at around 9.30.

He was accompanied by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Assad, Senior Superintended of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Rakesh Bhalwal and Principal Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid.

He said the administration has sought a structural certificate from the Public Works Department (PWD) so as to make the hospital, providing orthopedic facilities to the people, fully functional.

“We have sought a structural certificate from the PWD department so that the hospital is made functional in a week or next ten days. It was an unfortunate incident; fire broke out in the Emergency Operation theatre and not in the main one. But thank God no one was injured or no major damage was reported in the incident,” Bhardwaj added.

He said the administration will ensure that hospital services are not disrupted so that people do not face inconvenience. He also said that the challenging job for the administration was to shift immobilized patients to other hospitals.

“It was important to shift immobilized patients to the other hospitals and that was done successfully and everyone was evacuated safely,” he said.

He said that lives were saved and fire was effectively controlled due to the collective efforts of doctors, paramedical staff, fire and emergency service and local people.

“Our colleagues including doctors, paramedical staff and fire fighters besides local volunteers combated the fire effectively. Had we not conducted the drill earlier we would have suffered more losses. Fire broke out in the operation theatre which is an emergency operation theatre and not main. Rest all wards are safe as with the cooperation of all, we succeeded in bringing the fire under control,” said the officer.

He said that the Fire and Emergency department has prepared a fire audit report in the year 2020, for all hospitals of the valley.

“Three meetings were held during the last three months as the Fire and Emergency department prepared a fire audit report in the year 2020 for all hospitals of the valley,” he said, adding, most of the hospitals in the valley are made of wood and that’s what made the government construct new hospitals where such problems do not occur.

He further said that audit reports and DPRs have been received and “now we can fund them and ensure modern safety systems in old hospitals.

Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Assad said the cause of fire is being ascertained.

He however said the priority is to restore the Out Patient Department (OPD) and emergency Services of the hospital.  DC Srinagar claimed that electricity has been restored in two administrative blocks of the hospital while OPD will be made functional within eight to ten days.

“Investigation is on to ascertain the cause of fire while restoring immediate patient care especially shifting of patients to various other hospitals and resumption of OPD and emergency services at unaffected buildings is top priority at the moment,” he said.

The ACS was given firsthand appraisal of the situation arisen due to the fire incident and was informed that major installations/services including Oxygen supply lines, Operation theatre, X-Ray plant, ICU, Blood Bank, CT-Scan, besides DG sets and other allied facilities are operational in the Hospital. While the essential supplies including power and water were restored within hours.

On the occasion, the Additional Chief Secretary directed for removal of debris and muck accumulated due to fire incidents from the hospital to ensure proper cleaning in and around the hospital. He also asked for conducting a structural audit of the building at the earliest to ascertain the feasibility for operationalisation of the building for routine work.

He directed all line departments to work in coordinated manner so that all units of the hospital are made functional within the shortest possible time. He hoped that the lone Bone & Joint Hospital shall resume functioning normally within 8-10 days. He directed the health authorities to ensure alternate arrangements for the patients till routine work in hospital is resumed.

He also praised the immediate action taken by locals in helping the administration in the evacuation of patients from the Hospital in Barzulla and in avoiding any casualties during the hour of exigency.

Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Secretary inspected the ongoing work on the 120 bed capacity new hospital building being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore. The Additional Chief Secretary directed the concerned executing agency to accelerate the pace of work to ensure its timely completion.

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