AERB, responsible for implementation of safety norms in hospitals, in a notice to the hospital ordered that it stopped admitting new patients for radiation therapy, sources at Safdarjung Hospital said. “The directive came from AERB following a lapse on part of the Radiological Safety Officer (RSO) of the hospital who applied for the renewal via paper-based application instead of online mode. AERB has now switched entirely to online mode,” said a senior doctor at the hospital.
“Now the RSO has to re-submit the application and once it gets approved the hospital can start fresh admissions of patients for radiation therapy,” the doctor added. This is the second time that such a notice has been issued to Safdarjung Hospital. Last time it happened in 2011, the source said. “No new patients shall be admitted to the radiotherapy department of your institution for radiation therapy, with immediate effect,” read the AERB notice, received by the hospital on November 18. However, the hospital was allowed to continue with radio therapy treatment of patients already admitted. Safdarjung Hospital is one of the four hospitals offering radiation therapy to cancer patients in Delhi. The other three are Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi State Cancer Institute (DSCI) and Lok Nayak Hospital.
On an average, the hospital gets around 30 patients in a day and over 120 in a week for radiation therapy, doctors said. AERB guidelines state that radiation therapy cannot be administered to cancer patients without a Radiological Safety Officer, who should ensure that the radiation safety activities were being performed in accordance with approved procedures and regulatory requirements in the daily operation of the licensees program. Hospital sources said the Medical Superintendent is out of station and will be back tomorrow and further decision will be taken by concerned authorities.