There are 10 physicians against 141 posts in 68 jails across the country while the number of inmates is 86,998 against the accommodation capacity of 40,664, said the Department of Prisons.
The information was revealed when deputy jailer Muminul Islam on behalf of the Inspector General (IG) of Prisons Brigadier General AKM Mostafa Kamal Pasha submitted a report (containing records till August 27) in this regard before the High Court bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader on Tuesday.
According to the report, 20 physicians were appointed on deputation on January 28, 2018, and of four them joined their workplaces while the 16 are yet to join.
Following the report, the HC asked the state to inform the court by November 11 why the 16 physicians did not join, said advocate JR Khan Robin, who stood for the petitioner.
Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Advocate Shammi Akter also stood for the petitioner while deputy attorney general ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
On June 23, the HC asked the Inspector General of Prisons to submit the list of vacant posts of physicians at all prisons across the country within six weeks as it wants to know the receptivity of the accused in prisons, number of prisoners and physicians of the prisons across the country.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the ineffectiveness of the authorities concerned to ensure the standard accommodation for the prisoners should not be declared illegal.
Besides, the High Court issued another rule asking the government to explain as to why the inability of the authorities concerned to fill the vacant posts of the physicians to ensure medical services to the prisoners should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to the Law, Health, Social Welfare, Public Administration Ministries, director general of the Director General of Health Services, and inspector General of Prisons were made respondents to the rule which is returnable in four weeks.
Advocate JR Khan filed the writ petition with the High Court attaching a report published in daily newspapers on February 17.
There are 68 prisons and of these, 13 are central jail across the country while the rest 55 are district jails, he said.