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Threatened by inmates,visiting doctors seek protection in Sabarmati jail

Apparently iffy after the Sabarmati jail inmates created an atmosphere of “terror and fear” among the government doctors attending to them in the jail premises...

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
February 4, 2009 2:51:32 am

Apparently iffy after the Sabarmati jail inmates created an atmosphere of “terror and fear” among the government doctors attending to them in the jail premises,a delegation of medicos submitted a memorandum to the office of Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas on Tuesday. They also demanded adequate police protection for them.

The delegation,led by Dr Jitendra Parmar also met senior officials in the State Health department and urged them to ensure the security of doctors during their visit to the jail.

They said more number of doctors should be employed on a permanent basis at the clinic in the jail premises so that medicos from the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital are spared the trouble of visiting the jail frequently.

Ahmedabad Civil Hospital Superintendent Dr M Anchaliya has already expressed her concern over prisoners creating a rein of terror against the visiting doctors. She has now drawn the attention of the government to this,and also shot off a letter to the Sabarmati Central Jail Superintendent,demanding full protection of the doctors.

“There are several hardcore criminals lodged in the jail,and anything can happen to our doctors if the government fails to take timely and effective measures to such recurring incidents in the jail premises. Our primary concern is the safety of the doctors,for some of the prisoners are often found holding threats to them. Besides,sometimes,even female doctors from the hospital are compelled to visit the jail past midnight to attend to calls,when the inmates complain of serious ailment,” Anchaliya told Newsline today evening.

Principal Secretary (Health) Rita Teotia said she will take up the issue with the Inspector General of Police (Prisons),as this “involves the safety of the doctors from the government hospitals.”

It was in response to a letter by the IGP (Prisons) that the Health department decided to make special arrangements for the check-up of prisoners in the jail itself,as they often seek treatment at the Civil Hospital on flimsy ground.

Teotia said the arrangement for sending doctors from the Civil Hospital to the Sabarmati jail was made in a bid to facilitate a thorough check up of the inmates,both in emergency and normal circumstances. The practice was also introduced to discourage the inmates from frequently seeking treatment at the hospital even for minor ailments,and thus coming into contacts with their friends and relatives by using mobiles.

A senior doctor said that on January 30,a gang of prisoners had objected to the visit of doctors at the jail and had threatened them with life,and had chased them away. “They created an atmosphere of terror in the jail premises,and we virtually ran for cover. Had some security guards not intervened,anything could have happened to us,” said a doctor.

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