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After Jabalpur Blaze, Congress Accuses BJP Of “Saving Killer Hospitals”

Bhopal: Is the Madhya Pradesh government trying to save influential hospital owners? the Congress has asked following the Jabalpur hospital blaze which claimed eight lives. The grand old party’s suspicion stems from a now-deleted list of hospitals reportedly ordered to stop admitting patients temporarily.
The fire accident happened on August 1 at New Life Multi-Speciality Hospital near Damoh Naka area of Jabalpur in the afternoon. Five patients and three hospital staff were killed in the fire.

Records show a list of 52 hospitals was uploaded at 7:39 pm on Tuesday, on the official Facebook page of the Jabalpur district administration, banning them from admitting new patients until they comply with fire safety norms. However, at 8:43 pm, the list was deleted and at 10:30 pm, officials said they will examine hospitals but no hospital is banned from admitting new patients. The order suspending the Chief Medical Health Office and fire officer came soon after. The Opposition Congress is questioning why the first list was deleted.

Accusing the ruling BJP of “saving killer hospitals”, Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta questioned why an investigation ordered by the CMHO was taken back.

“After Bhopal, and Indore, now in Jabalpur…the number of deaths due to fire in hospitals is increasing. In Jabalpur, the CMHO ordered an investigation, and action against hospitals, but the government took back the order. Why are they trying to save the killer hospitals? The government should answer who is responsible for mushrooming of such hospitals. Congress will take this fight to courts and streets,” he said.

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Refuting the accusation, the state’s Medical Education minister Vishwas Sarang said they have taken no such decision (regarding not allowing patients to be admitted), but hospitals have been instructed to operate with full safety norms.

“The CMHO who issued the order was himself suspended and the person who gave the certification was also suspended. We have registered cases against the accused, no one will be spared,” he said.

A preliminary investigation into the fire has revealed several shortcomings regarding safety. It was found that the fire No Objection Certificate of the facility had expired, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra has said.

The Chief Medical and Health Officer of Jabalpur Dr Ratnesh Kuraria and the Fire Safety officer Kushagra Thakur have been suspended.

Eight persons — five of them women — were either burnt alive or choked to death.

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Another eight people who suffered burns of various degrees have been admitted to a nearby private hospital and the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College. Most of them are stable, the police said.

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