sum hospital
Bhubaneswar: SUM Hospital had lost NABH accredition 2 months back Rescue operations underway at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital where a fire broke out killing 22 people in Bhubaneswar on Oct 18, 2016.IANS

Bhubaneswar-based SUM Hospital, where a major fire killed 20 people and injured 105 others, had lost its accreditation with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) two months ago.

The state fire services department also filed an FIR against the hospital for not adhering to its safety standards, which were recommended in 2013.

Severals hospital officials, including hospital superintendent Pushparaj Samantasinghar, its fire safety officer Santosh Das, electrical maintenance engineer Amulya Sahu and junior engineer Malaya Sahu, were arrested on Tuesday after the incident. They were charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. 

"SUM Hospital lost its accreditation about two months back when the surveillance team found it to be wanting on several counts. NABH does not have specific standards for various units of the hospital but SUM was found to be lacking in overall compliance to our standards," CEO of NABH, Dr K K Kalra, told the Indian Express. 

The hospital had not renewed its fire no-objection certificate (NoC) after it expired in 2013. The hospital staff was also inadequately trained in case of fire, NABH sources said. The hospital was severely lacking in patient safety and "overall intent". To renew the NABH accreditation, a hospital has to comply to at least 70 percent of their standards. After the latest round of inspection, it was decided that the hospital's NABH accreditation will not be renewed, sources told the newspaper. However, the hospital reportedly still promoted itself as having NABH accreditation. 

"Despite recommendations, an operational sprinkler system was not provided in the dialysis ward and ICU. The existing fire protection system available in the building like the fire hydrant system did not function during fire-fighting and there was no water source available. External fire escape staircase has not been provided which hindered evacuation and patients had to be evacuated through windows after breaking the glass panels," said a fire officer.

The police may also seek arrest of the owner of the hospital, Manoj Nayak, during the investigation.