Health Ministry conducts fire safety audits at 46 hospitals to date

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has carried out fire safety audits at 46 hospitals over 50 years old, to identify fire risks, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

According to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, the audits also involved the Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the Public Works Department, to ensure everything was covered.

From the audits, Hilmi said, among several fire risks identified were ageing fire prevention systems, dilapidated electrical wiring and installation systems, the installation of medical gas systems which were not according to required standards, and other discoveries which needed engineering systems to be upgraded.

“The ministry also undertook a fire risk survey on the hospitals, and found a large number of the hospitals were fire hazards and in need of an overhaul, upgrade and repair to be carried out to ensure the hospitals are safe and did not affect its daily operations,” he said in reply to a question from Datuk Rozman Islin (BN-Labuan).

Rozman had asked the ministry on the results of the detailed audits undertaken at hospitals aged between 50 and 100 years old, as well as proactive measures by the ministry to ensure the fire incidents in Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor Baru do not recur elsewhere.

Hilmi (BN-Balik Pulau) had revealed that the fire at the Intensive Care Unit at the south wing of HSA was due to failure of the capacitor lamp component.

As for the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, he said the fire was due to the parting arc on the light switch on the bedhead panel.

“Following these incidents, the ministry proceeded to immediately replace lamp components, especially in critical locations in hospitals,” he added.