Bandar Kuching MP calls for fire safety measures in healthcare premises

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Oct 5: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen is calling for fire safety measures in all Ministry of Health (MOH) premises, be it hospital or government clinics throughout the country.

He mentioned that on Sunday (Oct 3), there was a fire at the medical supplies store at Klinik Kesihatan Jalan Masjid in Kuching which destroyed more than 80 per cent of medical supplies including medicine, vaccines, alcohol and more than 40 per cent of the physical building itself.

“While we were glad there was no casualties, such an issue should not be looked upon as an ‘isolated case’ as there has been fire breakouts in other MOH facilities all around the country including the deadly fire in Hospital Sultan Aminah, Johor that caused the loss of 6 lives.


“What is concerning is that we were informed that there are major hospitals around the country that have yet to receive a fire safety certificates, including the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), Pusat Jantung Sarawak and the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor among others. This does not cover government clinics that may or may not have the required fire certificates as well,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii further calls on Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to publish the findings of an independent inquiry and also to have an extensive audit of all fire safety requirements of all health facilities nationwide.

He disclosed that an independent inquiry’s report on the fatal 2016 Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) fire revealed that HSA did not have a fire certificate, besides alleging that “one of the underlying causes that led to the deaths of patients and injuries to a patient and several staff of the South ICU was the lack of preparedness on the part of the hospital management and staff”.

“The inquiry found that none of the South ICU (intensive care unit) staff had undergone training in fire drills or emergency evacuation, despite four previous fire outbreaks in the South ICU in 2008, 2010, and May and Oct 14, 2016 before the Oct 25 blaze in that same ward.

“However, it was unfortunate that somehow this report and findings was not released to public, and no one was held accountable for their actions or inactions which led to these fire outbreaks.

“We should learn from the findings of the report and not try to sweep the report under the carpet. Learn from it to prevent further deaths in our hospitals,” he said.

He also called on the government to find ways to compensate the families of the six victims of the HSA fire and have additional measures hold those responsible for the disaster to ensure some form of accountability.

Additionally, he called on MOH to channel necessary resources to help the Klinik Kesihatan Jalan Masjid in Kuching which is in need of an air-conditioned container to serve as a temporary medical storage.

He also calls upon the government to reveal the list of government-owned, managed, leased and linked buildings that do not have a Fire Certificate and those that do not even have a Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC). — DayakDaily