The fire at AMRI hospital in Kolkata has instilled fear and uncertainty among patients and staff, even as hospitals are busy assuring patients that they are following safety norms.
Radhika Shrivastava, whose 24 year-old sister is admitted at Aastha Health Care in Mulund for weight loss surgery, panicked after seeing the Kolkata fire news on television and immediately approached the authorities demanding to know about the hospital's fire security arrangements. Shrivastava was one among several patients and their relatives, who voiced their concern.
Hospital director Dr Manish Motwani took her for a round of the hospital and showed her all the precautions that have been taken to deal with a fire.
And after meeting several such concerned relatives, Motwani decided to make a video of the hospital's fire fighting arrangements.
"As soon as the news of the Kolkata hospital fire was flashed on television, a few relatives came up to me with concerns over the fire safety of the hospital. We decided to make a video to show to all the patients and relatives," said Motwani.
Don't watch TV, say doctors
Other senior doctors in the city suggested that relatives should not allow patients to watch disturbing news and visuals.
"A few patients did enquire about our preparedness, and we gave them details about our fire safety measures. There is a high chance of patients getting paranoid after watching news on TV.
We advised our patients to not watch television even during the Mumbai terror attacks," said Dr Gaurav Gupta, director, Medical Administration, Cumbulla Hill hospital.
Psychiatrist Dr Nilesh Shah said that hospitals and relatives should work on developing coping mechanisms in patients, instead of stopping them from watching TV.