Bihar government has sacked altogether 18 specialist doctors and cancelled their contract agreements for not joining duty in different prisons of the state.
According to an official notification issued by the home department, altogether 18 physicians and specialists have been sacked after they failed to join duty within the stipulated time as per contractual agreement with the state government The doctors were appointed in the months of July and August and required to join duty in the prisons of their postings immediately.
However, most of them either did not join duty or those who did so, subsequently absented themselves from duty, it said.
The government first issued showcause notices to the absentee doctors seeking reasons for their continued absence, but they did not reply prompting the government to sack them, a jail official said.
This is for the second time that contractual doctors have not shown interest in joining duty in their places of postings.
In July, government had sacked altogether 35 doctors on similar grounds. The government requires over 70 doctors and specialists to serve in 55 prisons having 24,000 inmates across the state.
Informed sources said the doctors were apprehensive of joining their postings owing to the the eterriblef conditions prevailing in jails and alleged failureof the government to provide them adequate security behind this.
This phenomenon began after a doctor was beaten to death by a criminal in Gopalganj jail last year,h they said.
In May last year, Dr Buddhadev Singh, brother of former MP Satyadev Singh, was beaten to death by prisoners inside Gopalganj jail for refusing to give them fake certificate.
He was pushed down a flight of stairs and then mercilessly beaten up by a gang of prisoners.
He died on way to the hospital.
The state government is grappling with the problem of doctorsf scarcity in prisons, as Bihar accounts for 12% deaths of prisoners in the country. A survey conducted by the department revealed that more than 400 prisoners were suffering from serious diseases and being treated either at the jail hospitals or at hospitals in the districts concerned.
The latest statistics released by the bureau suggested that the number of deaths of inmates owing to lack of medical services had reached an alarming level in Bihar.
The data revealed that Bihar ranked second after Uttar Pradesh as far as death of prisoners in the country was concerned.
According to the bureau, as many as 892 prisoners died between 2006 and 2011 in Bihar, including 38 at Shaheed Khudiram Bose Central Jail in Muzaffarpur alone.
The National Human Rights Commission and Bihar State Human Rights Commission have also directed the state government to improve medical facilities in the state jails.