Mumbai Fire safety Audit: Cooper hospital's security measures pose serious hazard

Updated: 03 January, 2018 12:50 IST | Rupa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Though faring better than bigger civic hospitals, the barricades and metal detectors installed at Cooper Hospital, as protection after attacks on doctors by patients and their relatives, have narrowed entry-exit points, making evacuation in an emerge

Cooper Hospital has 950-odd beds. Pic/Satej Shinde
Cooper Hospital has 950-odd beds. Pic/Satej Shinde

This is the relatively decent one among civic hospitals - with 950-odd beds, Cooper Hospital has been functioning more properly than the others, but it's far from being perfect, falling behind in fire safety with emergency exits a niggling issue.

And ironically, one of the reasons for the problems here that pose a risk to patients and their relatives is a result of attacks on doctors in public hospitals - to protect its staffers from being assaulted by patients or their loved ones, management has put up barricades and metal detectors, and it's these very things that pose a danger as their installation has led to narrowing down of entry-exit points.

Metal detectors have been installed at the main entrance covered with glass walls. To exit, relatives have to take the back door. So, in the event of any emergency, it will be tough to handle the crowd as well as help bed-ridden and other patients evacuate safely.

"It is a fact that certain security measures themselves have compromised safety here - easy access to the hospital has been blocked. There needs to be a balance between safety and security, which is lacking here," a senior staffer said.

With respect to fire safety, most extinguishers at the hospital are within the expiry date, but a few that were supposed to have been refilled two months back still haven't been, lessening the number of functional ones.

Those put up outside next to the parked ambulances have expired, while the sand buckets adjacent to them are filled with garbage, leaving a large section vulnerable to a blaze with no means to douse it.

Also, even though it's among the newly reconstructed civic hospitals, wards lack proper exit signages to guide patients and relatives during any emergency. And none of the existing signages are of the photo-luminescent variety.

Worried voices

Kailash Dhuliya, Andheri resident
'This hospital needs to improve hygiene on its premises. The OPD bathrooms aren't cleaned regularly. Also, fire extinguishers outside the hospital are past the expiry date. And the main problem of blocked entry-exit points needs to be addressed immediately. In a panic situation, anything can happen.'

Mudasser Pinjiri, Parel resident
'I am not a fire expert, but I have noticed that extinguishers aren't present in all wards, which should be made compulsory'

Medical negligence
>> Security installations block access.
>> Many fire extinguishers have expired.
>> Sand buckets are full of garbage.
>> There are no proper signages.

Number of OPD patients daily

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First Published: 03 January, 2018 12:40 IST

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