EUAM Ukraine advises penitentiary medical service administration on the implementation of international prison health care standards

September 23, 2015

The European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine) advised the administrative personnel of the State Penitentiary (SPS) Service Medical Department concerning international prison health care standards that are not duly implemented in prisons day-to-day practice.


A relevant thematic seminar organized by Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group took place at the State Penitentiary Service Headquarters. The event was attended by the administration of the State Penitentiary Service Medical Department and heads of its regional offices. It was also streamed online to other administrative staff from Medical Departments of all regional Penitentiary Service Administrations across the country.


EUAM Penitentiary Senior Assistant, Vadym Chovgan, suggested to the SPS medical personnel the ways to implement improved health care standards of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the European Court of Human Rights. 

In particular, the suggestions concerned:


  • Re-subordination of prison medicine management to the Ministry of Health. After a practical discussion, a common position was reached that another acceptable way to guarantee the independence of medical staff from prison administrators could be found. Particularly, it could be rendering prison medicine independent within the existing structure of SPS instead of its re-subordination that could have some negative consequences;
  • Ensuring confidentiality of medical staff-prisoners communication;
  • Treatment of disabled prisoners;
  • Treatment of prisoners with psychiatric problems, managing of prisoners with a high risk of suicide;
  • Prisoners’ access to their medical files;
  • Prisoners’ awareness about procedures of access to prison doctors.


The participants directly discussed the above-mentioned advice with the medical service administrators from the SPS and its local administration. 

EUAM Ukraine continues to be active in the area of penitentiary.