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L-G orders ACB probe into nursing homes' registration after east Delhi hospital fire

I have taken a very stern view in the matter. Though this is a transferred subject, in larger public interest, I am forced to step in, on account of the lack of seriousness on part of authorities entrusted with these responsibilities, says VK Saxena

PTI New Delhi Published 28.05.24, 07:56 PM
Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena.

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena. File picture.

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has ordered a comprehensive ACB probe into the registration and regulatory management of private nursing homes in the national capital, after six newborns were killed in a neonatal hospital fire, Raj Niwas officials said on Tuesday.

In his note to the chief secretary, Saxena said, "I have taken a very stern view in the matter. Though this is a transferred subject, in larger public interest, I am forced to step in, on account of the lack of seriousness on part of authorities entrusted with these responsibilities." "In the matter at hand regarding the tragic fire and nursing home ... the ACB (Anti Corruption Branch) is directed to undertake a comprehensive inquiry into the registration of nursing homes in the city to assess how many nursing homes are functioning without valid registrations and whether those which have valid registration are complying with prescribed norms as provided under Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, and the rules made thereunder," according to the note.

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Five oxygen cylinders exploded when a fire broke out at a neonatal hospital in the Vivek Vihar area of east Delhi that was operating without a licence and a Fire department clearance, according to the Delhi Police FIR.

Six newborns were killed in the blaze.

The probe will also ascertain if the grant of registration or its renewal by the Health department is done after 100 per cent site inspection.

"Is there a proper check list to ensure whether the facility meets the requisite safety norms and has the medical infrastructure and professionals as provided under law? The ACB may also determine the connivance and complicity of concerned public servants of the Health department and bring out the criminal misconduct and negligence in this matter," the note said.

Saxena said in the note that there are 1,190 nursing homes, of which more than a quarter are operating without a valid registration.

"Also, there are many nursing homes in the city which have never applied for a registration but are still operating. Even those nursing homes, which have a valid registration, may not be meeting the safety and regulatory standards as prescribed in The Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, and the rules made thereunder," he noted.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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