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IPOH, 10 Nov 2016:

The 5B male medical ward at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun was vacated following a short circuit last night.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the short circuit which happened at 11.16pm, originated from a wall plug beside the beds.

He said none of the patients or hospital staff were injured in the incident.

“The hospital has moved the patients to another ward while the wiring and safety are being checked.”

Meanwhile, Ipoh Fire and Rescue Department chief P. Samasuvam praised the hospital’s staff for their swift action in cutting off the electricity and gas supply to the ward.

He said such an action was crucial as it prevented the sparks due to the short circuit from becoming even worse.

“The department received the distress call at 1.17am. We found that the patients had been moved as soon as the firemen arrived three minutes later.

“We also discovered traces of fire which had been put out by the (hospital’s) staff using fire extinguisher,” he said, adding that the ward was now safe for its daily operations.

“It is now up to the hospital’s engineering department to determine when exactly the operations of the ward can be reinstated.”

Later, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the short-circuit at the hospital is an isolated incident.

He had been asked to comment on the frequency of short-circuit incidents at public hospitals after a similar incident at the Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) in Johor Bahru last month, which resulted in a fire which claimed the lives of six people.

A short-circuit the next day left three HSA staff injured. The fire at the HSA’s intensive care unit occurred on Oct 25 and the small fire in the hospital’s operation theatre was reported the following day.

“They were isolated incidents. They happened in different places so they were not connected to one another. However, we are carrying out an audit at all hospitals,” Dr Subramaniam said when met at the Parliament lobby today.

The minister noted there are many systems within hospitals – including monitoring, risk identification and the taking of preventive and ratification measures.

“Unfortunately, something was missed and that is what we need to identify through the two measures that we are now undertaking. One is a special commission that is going to look at the complete process, not limited to HSA but other hospitals.

“Second, is the audit that will be carried out throughout the hospital to identify any common threat and create a programme to solve those threats.”

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