Are MOH hospitals fire hazards?
A fourth fire in an MOH hospital in less than 2 years, again attributed to an electrical fault. The latest being a fire which broke out in Hospital KL, Malaysia’ largest public hospital, which started in the forensic department.
The fire, which was believed to have started as a result of a short circuit or electrical fault, was put out, and thankfully there were no casualties though patients had to be evacuated.
It was only less than two years ago that a fire broke out in Hospital Sultanah Aminah, JB which tragically killed 6 patients who were in ICU. The fire was believed to have been started by a short circuit.
A month after the JB fire, the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh was involved in a fire . Again an electrical cause was also suspected and indeed the hospital was forwarned by the Fire Department 4 years earlier
“We will need to check all the wiring system at the hospital, taking into consideration the age and the condition of the hospital.
“If there’s a need to change it, we will do so. The safety of the patients is our priority and we take this seriously,” he said, adding that all patients were pushed out from the ward within 45 minutes.
Asked about a recommendation by the Fire and Rescue Department to change the wiring system in 2013, Dr Mah advised to wait for the outcome of the investigation.
In Taiping, State Health Department director Datuk Dr Juita Ghazalie said the fire happened due to a short circuit and based on initial investigations, she was told that the wiring was 35 years old.
Asked why no action was taken in 2013 after the Fire and Rescue Department recommended a change in the wiring system, Dr Juita said she was not the director then.
In January 2017, Hospital Bahagia was involved in a fire
The trend is worrying and we wonder if the MOH should be looking into the fire safety aspects of it’s hospitals, especially also when in comes to maintenance of old electrical wiring and circuitry. We’d hate to see a 5th fire break out in yet another hospital.