Prison doctors criticised for low-level care

25th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The health care inspectorate has threatened sanctions against prison doctors if the situation does not improve.

The Hague – Medical care for detainees in Dutch prisons is inadequate, according to an investigation by the health care inspectorate.

The investigation into the medical services of 43 prisons revealed that in many cases emergency stocks of medical supplies were insufficient. The inspectorate has threatened sanctions against prison doctors if they fail to rectify the situation.

In the current system, there are no doctors or medics present in the prison building after normal office hours. If a prisoner has acute complaints at those times, it is up to the guards to call a doctor. The investigation found that sick prisoners regularly fail to receive timely care, if at all.

The report suggested that there is “a high risk of incorrect judgments, which may lead to incidents or calamities.”

The inspectorate has made additional suggestions including improved aftercare. For example, prison doctors should report medical conditions of ex-prisoners to their family surgeon.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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