Ministry in charge

Ministry of Health

Every prison facility has a health care unit


It is sometimes impossible to reach the nurse in emergency situations. Quick consultations lead to misdiagnoses.

Number of medical staff (FTE)


  • General Medicine
  • Specialized medicine (type “R” institutions for people with serious pathologies)
  • Hospitalizations are allowed, but remain complex in practice.

Hospitalized prisoners are placed in designated rooms, generally located in the basement or by the mortuary. Some hospitals don’t provide specific rooms to accommodate prisoners.

Medical personnel are understaffed particularly considering the high growth rates of the prison population. As of 2016, medical staff included1:

  • 471 health care staff (as well as 207 under contract)
  • 675 psychologists
  • 10 doctors
  • 3 dentists
  • 3 nutritionists

  1. According to the latest figures published by the Prison Service in its 2016 Activity Report

Health care is free


A medical examination is performed upon admission


Newcomers are examined by a doctor. No control visits are organised thereafter.

Prisoners can access health care units after


Medical staff is present, on average, one to two half-days per week. Prisoners can have medical consultations once a week. Unless under extreme circumstances, prisoners must wait at least one week between appointments.

Medical examinations are carried out on a confidential basis


Doctors ask that the military be present during the consultations. Medical examinations are carried out at the prison itself and no longer in a hospital.
An IHD report published in November 2017 indicates that policemen are sometimes present during these medical examinations. The medical personnel’s diagnoses are often altered.1

The overpopulation is a contributing factor to disease transmission and their evolution is sometimes hard to follow.

Medication is free however access sometimes faces lengthy delays.

The police is the referring authority on cases of hospitalization. Along with the prosecutor, they also decide on who is permitted access to visits by relatives. Some families are not allowed to visit hospitalized prisoners, even if they are in critical condition.
Platform for Peace & Justice has denounced the struggles prisoners face in order to access health care in the Kirklareli prison. Some prisoners aren’t transferred to hospitals even when the doctor is the one making the request. They can, in some instances, be transferred two months later.

Many health problems are linked to the detention conditions. Low temperatures favour cases of recurring flu. Regardless of their conditions, sick prisoners must be present during roll-call.
Lack of physical exercise is at the source of blood circulation problems. Cancer, heart problems, and tuberculosis are common illnesses. Individuals with HIV/AIDS are rarely identified and properly treated.