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LG VK Saxena orders ACB probe into nursing homes' registration after East Delhi hospital fire

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has initiated a comprehensive probe by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) into the registration and oversight of private nursing homes in the capital. This move follows a tragic fire at a neonatal hospital in east Delhi, claiming the lives of six newborns.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: May 28, 2024 23:48 IST
East Delhi hospital fire
Image Source : PTI LG VK Saxena orders an ACB probe into nursing homes' registration after the East Delhi hospital fire.

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has ordered a comprehensive probe by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) into the registration and regulatory management of private nursing homes in the capital. This decision follows a devastating fire at a neonatal hospital in east Delhi, which resulted in the death of six newborns, Raj Niwas officials reported on Tuesday.

Saxena's directive for immediate action

In a note to the chief secretary, Saxena expressed his grave concern over the incident. "I have taken a very stern view in the matter. Though this is a transferred subject, in the larger public interest, I am forced to step in due to the lack of seriousness on the part of the authorities entrusted with these responsibilities," he stated.

ACB inquiry mandate

The ACB has been directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the registration processes of nursing homes across Delhi. This includes identifying how many nursing homes operate without valid registrations and ensuring those with registrations comply with the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, and its rules.

Incident overview

The fire at the neonatal hospital in Vivek Vihar, which lacked a license and fire department clearance, led to the explosion of five oxygen cylinders, as detailed in the Delhi Police FIR. The blaze tragically claimed the lives of six newborns.

Focus on regulatory compliance and safety standards

The probe will also examine whether the Health Department's registration or renewal processes include comprehensive site inspections. "Is there a proper checklist to ensure the facility meets requisite safety norms and has the necessary medical infrastructure and professionals as provided under law?" the note queried.

Scrutiny of health department's role

The ACB is tasked with uncovering any complicity or negligence by public servants in the Health Department. The probe aims to highlight any criminal misconduct related to the registration and oversight of nursing homes.

Current state of nursing homes in Delhi

Saxena highlighted that there are 1,190 nursing homes in Delhi, with over a quarter operating without valid registrations. He noted, "Many nursing homes have never applied for registration but are still operating. Even those with valid registrations may not meet the safety and regulatory standards prescribed in the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953."

Ensuring public safety and accountability

This investigation seeks to address and rectify the systemic issues within the registration and regulation of nursing homes, ensuring such tragedies do not recur and that public safety is upheld.

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