Ministry in charge

Ministry of Health

The transfer of this responsibility to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has not yet taken place (see also NPM). Medical services are therefore not independent.

Every prison facility has a health care unit


Number of medical staff (FTE)


/ Ministry of Justice

Dental care is often minimal and access to palliative care lacking.

Health care is free


The Penal and Detention Facilities Act provides that when detainees are injured or sick, necessary medical measures shall be taken at public expense.

A medical examination is performed upon admission


A medical file is opened upon admission


Medical examinations are carried out on a confidential basis


Doctor-patient confidentiality is not guaranteed since prison guards attend medical examinations.

Yes, continual medical care is guaranteed during incarceration. The Penal and Detention Facilities Act provides health examinations should be conducted at the frequency of about twice a month.

As a result of this, security requirements are often prioritized over medical needs, causing delays in medical attention, worsening symptoms, or even death in extreme cases.