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DAK seeks earthquake safety audit of hospitals  

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Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday has sought an earthquake safety audit of all the hospitals in the valley.

“Structural audit of hospitals should be done immediately to ensure they are resilient to quakes,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

“Recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are a wakeup call for Kashmir which is vulnerable to similarly powerful seismic events,” he said.

Dr Hassan said hospitals play an important role in saving lives during an earthquake. They provide immediate medical succor in the form of emergency medical care.

“It is essential that these crucial life-saving assets remain functional at a time when they are needed most,” he said.

The DAK President said there is an urgent need to assess the structural stability of healthcare institutions. “We need to identify the gaps and fill them on priority,” he said adding “corrective measures such as strengthening and retrofitting these lifeline buildings, if needed, should be done on an urgent basis.”

Dr Nisar said hospitals in Kashmir need to increase their surge capacity to cope with an increased number of patients in case of a disaster like an earthquake.

“They need to augment infrastructure, staff, space, and supplies to manage the sudden influx of an unexpected patient load during the disaster. Hospitals should have designated disaster wards and reserved staff in case of a large-scale disaster,” he said.

General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said hospital staff should undergo disaster management training and periodic drills to test the response capabilities to disaster.

“Every hospital should have a disaster management committee to make a disaster plan for the hospital and ensure its implementation when needed,” he said.

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