Date of the report

Health

Ministry in charge of the health care system within the prison facilities

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.

There is an infirmary or a care unit in every prison facility

yes

Number of healthcare workers

683

i
2011
/ Ministry of Justice

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

Some institutions do not have full time doctors. Within these institutions, assistant nurses (prison guards who have acquired their qualification at the prison's medical facility) must judge the necessity and urgency of further medical attention including examination by a doctor.

Health care is free

yes

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

yes

A medical record is started upon admission

yes

Medical examinations are confidential

no

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.