Year2020
Contributor(s)APADOR-CH / independents experts

Health

Ministry in charge

Ministry of Justice

Every prison facility has a health care unit

yes

Number of medical staff (FTE)

797

i
2020
/ Prison Service

One hundred and sixty-seven (167) staff members are doctors. This figure only includes staff who are directly employed by the prison service and not specialists who occasionally intervene in prisons. In 2019, the number of medical personnel was 819.

Every prison facility must ensure it offers first aid to prisoners, and this must take place in an infirmary.
Emergencies are first attended to on-site before being referred to the nearest health centre. Most of the infirmaries do not have emergency equipment (defibrillator, oxygen, etc.).
Medical care is provided by a team of at least one doctor and two nurses.1 Specialists (dentists, psychiatrists, etc.) sometimes work on a full-time or part-time basis.
The CPT noted with regret the lack of sufficient personnel in most of the facilities during its visit in 2018. It stated that no dental care had been provided in Bacău prison since 2013. In this same prison, medical consultations had been drastically reduced to a mere 90 seconds per prisoner on average, due to lack of personnel.
At Iaşi prison, consultations with a medical doctor only take place on certain days. The number of daily consultations is therefore substantial, between 70 and 100. The CPT observed the absence of a secretary to manage medical consultations and appointments. The general practitioners are therefore charged with a heavy administrative load.2
During its visit in 2019, APADOR-CH observed there had been no head doctor at Miercurea Ciuc prison since 2014.3


  1. Prison Service, “Annual activity report 2019”, p. 33 (in Romanian). 

  2. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, pp. 65–67. 

  3. APADOR-CH, “Report on the Visit to Miercurea Ciuc prison”, 8 July 2019. 

Health care is free

yes

Prisoners are covered by the national health insurance scheme.

A medical examination is performed upon admission

yes

New inmates are examined within 72 hours of their incarceration.1 Medical tests carried out depend on the prison facility.


  1. Article 106, Prison Regulations (in Romanian). 

A medical file is opened upon admission

yes

Prisoners can access health care units after

an oral request

Prisoners have to address their request to a prison guard.

Medical examinations are carried out on a confidential basis

no

Prison guards are present during consultations.

The prison service is obliged to ensure continuity of care throughout the period of imprisonment.

Medication is administered by medical personnel. They must be present when prisoners consume medications.
The CPT observed during its visit to Bacău in 2018 that prisoners do not receive medical instructions. Prisoners do not know how often to take medications nor the dose prescribed. Medications meant to be injected (subcutaneously) are given to prisoners to be swallowed in cases of extreme pain. The CPT described this practices as ‘dangerous’. It noted that vials given to prisoners remain in cells and encourage a black market.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 66. 

Most prisoners suffer from dental problems. Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS are also quite prevalent in prison. APADOR-CH identified 300 prisoners suffering from Hepatitis and 29 HIV-positive prisoners during its 2019 visit to Giurgiu prison. There were also cases of tuberculosis.

Prisoners likely to transmit a contagious disease are placed in quarantine in a cell managed by medical personnel.

The CPT noted the absence of a global programme aimed at reducing risk for prisoners, which would ensure that condoms or syringes are readily available to prisoners1.


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 67. 

In Bacău, Gherla and Iaşi prisons, all the files of persons suffering from contagious diseases are marked ‘CVMC’ (medically contagious vulnerable cases, Caz Vulnerabil Medico-Contagios). This abbreviation systematically appears on medical, disciplinary and legal files. The CPT noted the lack of medical discretion due to this practice and regrets the stigmatisation sick people may suffer from. It states that medical personnel can inform the guards of the medical condition of each prisoner on a case-by-case basis. The CPT recall that this information should only be transmitted when strictly necessary or must be done with the written consent of the relevant prisoner. It recommends that the practice of ‘CVMC’ be abolished with immediate effect.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 70. 

Many prisoners suffer from mental disorders that require medical attention. They are most often placed together with the other prisoners. They do not all receive psychiatric care.
The CPT observed that in Iaşi prison, prisoners are given excessive medication. In 2018, at least 21% of this prison’s population regularly consumed at least one psychoactive drug. The CPT reports the case of an apathetic prisoner, apparently sedated and unresponsive to external stimuli. He was not taking the right medications.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, pp. 71. 

Most prisons do not have psychiatrists or specialised infirmaries. The CPT confirmed the stigmatisation of persons suffering from mental disorders by prison guards and other prisoners.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 71. 

No national strategy provides for substitution treatment in prison or the implementation of risk reduction programmes. Authorities deny the presence of drugs in prisons.1
APADOR-CH observed during its visit to Giurgiu prison in 2019 that ten people were completing methadone-based substitution treatment.2
The law provides that inmates imprisoned for crimes relating to drugs or alcohol should be obliged to undergo treatment.3


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 72. 

  2. APADOR-CH, “Report of the visit to Giurgiu prison”, 27 March 2019. 

  3. Article 109, Penal code