Kolkata hospital to close down; not adhering to fire norms

Written by: Pti
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West Bengal
Kolkata, Dec 13: Calcutta Mercy Hospital, a private general hospital in the metropolis is headed for shutdown with the management alleging labour issues, while a union claimed that it was not adhering to fire safety norms.

"No new admissions are being made except for grave emergency and the out patients department has been closed," Santanu Lahiri, manager at the privately-run, 173-bed, six storey hospital, said today. Those being treated would be released in the next few days, he said.

Lahiri claimed that the hospital has a NOC from the fire department, but said that the department had directed it to make some changes in the building which was yet to be done.

"We have a provisional NOC from the Fire Department. It has asked us to make some modifications like constructing an additional staircase which are being done," he said.

A hospital spokesperson added that on May 21, 2009, the fire department had directed it to make some changes in the building, which was yet to be completed after two and a half years.

"We decided to shift the kitchen from the basement following the fire at the AMRI Hospital last week, but a minority union has been creating obstacles," he said.

"As things came to a head last evening, we have decided to close the hospital for the time being," he said.

Dr Subhas Dasgupta, president of SUCI-affiliated union at the hospital, alleged that it lacked a proper NOC from the fire department. He claimed that the kitchen, general store, medical store and the electrical panel board were situated in the basement of the hospital building making it unsafe.

"We have been telling the management for the last five years to shift these departments from the basement and in view of the AMRI incident, we have made a very strong demand that these be moved out," he said.


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