The High Court on Wednesday ordered the authorities concerned to recruit 117 physicians to fill up the vacant posts of jail hospitals across the country as soon as possible.
The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order and asked the Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to submit a progress report within a month.
Advocate JR Khan Robin, who filed the writ petition, said there are 141 posts of physician at jail hospitals across the country. Of them, 117 posts of physicians are lying vacant.
On January 14, the HC asked the authorities concerned to inform the court how many posts of physicians are lying vacant. Responding to the court order, the jail authorities said 117 posts are vacant.
On February 18 last year, Advocate JR Khan Robin filed a writ petition seeking recruitment of physicians in jail hospitals.
On June 23 last year, the HC asked the Inspector General of Prisons to submit the list of vacant posts of physicians within six weeks.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why the ineffectiveness of the authorities concerned to ensure the standard accommodation for the prisoners should not be declared illegal.
Besides, the HC issued another rule asking the government to explain why the inability of the authorities concerned to fill the vacant posts of the physicians to ensure medical services to the prisoners should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to law, health, social welfare, public administration ministries, director general of the DGHS, and inspector general of prisons were made respondents to the rule.
On November 5 last year, the Department of Prisons said there are nine physicians against 141 posts in 68 jails across the country while the number of inmates is 86,998 against an accommodation capacity of 40,664.
The information was revealed when deputy jailer Muminul Islam, on behalf of the Inspector General (IG) of Prisons Brigadier General AKM Mostafa Kamal Pasha, submitted a report (containing records till August 27) in this regard before the bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader.
The report also said the physicians for jails are recruited from the DGHS through transfer and there is no process no recruit physicians directly.