Doctors posted at the Tihar Jail, the country's largest prison complex, will have to serve for a minimum of two years at the jail.
The Delhi government recently issued a directive, fixing the tenure of doctors posted at the prison complex. The move will restrict doctors from seeking transfer before their tenure ends.
"We decided to depute doctors at Tihar by rotation for two years, as we found many grumbling and requesting for a transfer outside shortly after joining. As a result, a lot of posts had been lying vacant. Besides, in the absence of new recruits, some doctors had been posted for much longer duration," said Delhi health minister Dr AK Walia.
As there were no set rules regarding the recruitment and posting of doctors at the Tihar Jail, they could ask for a transfer and get it too.
The complex houses 10 prisons and each has one dispensary.
There are around 120 vacancies for doctors, of which around 10 are for women. There is a 120-bedded hospital in prison number 3 and a 150-bedded
hospital for inmates, who are into drug abuse.
On an average, 1,000 inmates show up daily for consultation at the OPD.
Severe cases are referred to the Delhi government-run Deen Dayal Upadhayay (DDU) Hospital.
With nearly 30% posts lying vacant at the jail, doctors on duty are over-worked. With the new directive in place, they can expect a slight relief.
"We have recruited 375 general-duty medical officers, of which a bulk will be posted at the Tihar Jail. We take doctors from our hospitals and the Directorate of Health Services. Things should settle in about two weeks," said the minister said.