Bangladesh jails short of doctors, nursesJune 1st, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by admin
Dhaka, June 1 (IANS) Bangladesh’s jails are woefully short of doctors and nurses and their work is carried out by convicts. Currently, as few as 17 doctors, all appointed through deputation, are on hand for around 86,000 inmates in 67 jails of the country.
None of the prisons and jail hospitals have nurses or ambulances. Convicts sentenced to rigorous imprisonment are randomly assigned to take care of the patients when the situation requires a nurse, The Daily Star newspaper said Sunday.
The number of inmates crossed the 200,000 mark last year and jails were choked, causing problems of hygiene and spreading diseases among the inmates.
The biggest central jail in Dhaka has four doctors of whom two are assigned to the two former prime ministers, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, kept at far away makeshift jails on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (parliament) premises.
The government has yet to decide on Hasina’s repeated pleas that she be allowed to go to the US for medical treatment.
Hasina, 61, fell sick in the courtroom during proceedings more than once and has complained of inadequate treatment.
Zia, 62, also has a problem with her knees.
As doctors are unwilling to work in jails, the directorate of prisons proposed to the government to allow appointment of all doctors in jails on deputation basis and with special facilities.
The directorate of prisons proposed to the government to change some regulations regarding doctors’ appointments in jails.
The newspaper quoted unnamed sources saying that the jail in Dhaka has a 172-bed jail hospital and it is always crowded with 250-300 sick prisoners.
There are 77 doctors’ posts in jails across the country for treating 27,000 prisoners. As the number of prisoners is always high, there should be over 230 doctors for the 86,000 inmates, according to the table of organisation and equipment (TOE) of jails.
Sources said despite the severe crisis, doctors posted at different jails do not want to stay there.
When they are deputed to the home ministry from the health ministry, they miss the deputation allowances, opportunity of going abroad, private practice opportunity, housing and postings as per their desires.
Tags: ambulances, bed jail, central jail, convicts, courtroom, daily star, doctors and nurses, former prime ministers, hasina, inadequate treatment, inmates, jails, jatiya sangsad, khaleda zia, knees, medical treatment, prisoners, prisons, rigorous imprisonment, unnamed sources