The High Court Division on Wednesday directed the government to report progress in filling vacancies of 117 doctors at prisons within a month.
A bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader issued the directive while hearing a public interest litigation writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer JR Khan Robin in February 2019.
The jail authorities informed the court that there were 24 doctors against 141 posts of at 68 jails and 15 of the doctors were appointed after the High Court Division on November 5, 2019 directed the health ministry to inform it what steps had been taken to fill in the vacancies.
At Wednesday’s hearing, the health ministry informed the court that it had asked 16 doctors to explain why department cases would not be filed against them for not joining jail hospitals and that 11 of them were facing departmental cases as they failed to provide satisfactory explanations.
On November 5, 2019 the inspector general of prisons in a report informed the court that only 10 doctors were working at seven jail hospitals against 141 posts of doctors at 68 jails.
As there is no doctor at 61 jails, the inmates are sent to government hospitals, jail officials told New Age.
In his report IGP brigadier general AKM Mustafa Kamal Pasha informed the bench that on October 21, 2018 the health ministry deputed 20 doctors to jail hospitals but only four of them joined, one each at Dhaka Central Jail, the Narayanganj Central Jail, the Cumilla Central Jail and the Brahmanbaria District Jail.
The IG Prisons also informed the bench that, two doctors were serving at Dhaka Central Jail, two at the Kashimpur Central Jail and one each at the central jails in Narayanganj, Chattogram, Cumilla and Sylhet and the Brahmanbaria District Jail.
He also informed the bench that a dentist was working at Dhaka Central Jail and another at the Kashimpur Central Jail.
A doctor told New Age on Wednesday that no doctors showed interest to work at jail hospitals where each doctor has to attend more than 300 patients every day without any promotion prospects.
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