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Panel studying need for physiotherapist in Tihar jail files report to HC

The reply by the Delhi government’s health department comes on a plea by Jagtar Singh Hawara, currently in Tihar jail for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

delhi Updated: Apr 23, 2019 11:39 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi HC,tihar jail,delhi govt
Policemen stand guard as an ambulance leaves the main entrance of Tihar Jail in New Delhi.(AFP File Photo )

The Delhi government has informed the high court that a committee, constituted to assess the requirement of physiotherapy units and physiotherapists in three jail complexes of Delhi, has submitted its report, which is being examined by the health department.

The three jails — Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli — have over 16,000 prisoners.

The reply by the Delhi government’s health department comes on a plea by Jagtar Singh Hawara, currently in Tihar jail for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Hawara has sought special facilities for the treatment of his back pain and other spinal problems.

According to the report, Tihar jail has four sanctioned posts for physiotherapists. In an earlier affidavit, the government had told the high court that there was not even a single physiotherapist in Tihar. Following this, on August 31, justice Mukta Gupta directed the government to work out the requirement of physiotherapists in the three jails and the number of machines needed. The court had also sought an affidavit on this.

Complying with its orders, the health department told the court that two physiotherapists were posted in the Central Jail Hospital, Tihar, and one was employed at the Central Jail Hospital, Mandoli.

“That a committee had been constituted by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) to assess the requirement of physiotherapy units and manpower of physiotherapists in three jail complexes in Delhi under the chairmanship of Dr SC Chetal. The committee had submitted its assessment report to the DGHS on October 15 and the same is being examined in the department for taking appropriate action on the report submitted by the Committee,” the affidavit read.

In its report, the committee, headed by medical superintendent of the Guru Gobind Singh government hospital, it was stated that even though a physiotherapy unit was attached with jail no. 3, the space was inadequate. It also stated that some of the equipment present were found to be very old and in need of repair/replacement.

The report also said there was a functioning physiotherapy unit in jail no.4, being run with the help of an NGO. It also added that there is an area earmarked for physiotherapy unit in jail no. 8/9, however, it lacked equipment and staff.

The affidavit also highlighted that there was only one regular orthopaedic senior resident doctor for all nine jails in Tihar who also visits Rohini once a week. It said since most patients require physiotherapy only on the advice of an orthopaedic surgeon, it would be better to have two orthopaedic doctors.

First Published: Apr 23, 2019 11:39 IST