Victoria hospital closes stairs, forces to use lift

The staircase locked on the second floor inside the PMSSY Hospital building inside the Victoria Hospital.

At a time when doctors and health experts advise people to take the stairs to stay fit, a government hospital has locked the staircase, forcing people to take the lift instead.

The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) super speciality hospital, located within the Victoria Hospital premises, has closed the access doors to the staircase after two patients collapsed while using it.

One of the visitors had to see a doctor on the third floor. He then took the lift. But the lift would only stop at the second or the fourth floor -- odd-even system, said the operator. So he chose to get down on the second floor and walk to the third floor only to find the staircase locked up. 

“I cannot understand how the hospital can close the staircase, especially when it is a high-rise building. The lift operator said they do open the staircase in case of an emergency. But how quickly can people exit in case of a mishap? The operator says during power cuts, it normally takes a minute to restart the lift,” said Kamal, a visitor.

Not just the visitors, even the staff working at the hospital are annoyed with the use of the lift every time they have to go from a floor to another. “I know it is very inconvenient for everyone to use the lift all the time. The lift operator does not stop at certain floors and we have to wait endlessly,” a hospital staff said.

Dr M Dayananda, deputy director, medical education, said that he was not aware of the staircase being locked and that ideally staircases should not be locked.

According to M N Reddi, DG of Police and Chief of Fire & Emergency Services, the staircase should be open always. “The staircase should not be closed or locked at any point in time. I will have my staff inspect the location,” he added. 

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