A report by the OIP, the International Observatory of Prisons denounces the lack of medical staff but also of supervisors to allow prisoners to be transferred to hospitals to receive treatment. One report out of five received by the OIP concerns the health of detainees.
In theory, since 1994, people in prison have had the same health rights as the general population. But, in the 187 French prison establishments, access to care is disastrous. A report by the OIP, the International Observatory of Prisons denounces the lack of medical personnel but also of supervisors to allow prisoners to be transferred to hospitals to receive care. One report out of five received by the OIP concerns the health of detainees.
Problems of access to specific care
A cancer of the uterus was discovered when an inmate was released from prison, for lack of a gynecological examination. She underwent an emergency removal of half of her uterus. Like her, in 2021, 200 prisoners contacted the International Prison Observatory for problems of access to specific care.
The need to recruit
“There are several factors. The lack of practitioners within the establishments. And in addition, these positions are insufficiently filled because there is a lack of attractiveness”, explains on Europe 1 Pauline Petitot, in charge of survey at the Observatory.
And when a consultation is available, sometimes medical secrecy is not respected, regrets Anne Dulioust, head doctor at Fresnes hospital: “I have had feedback from detainees who complain about the fact that the escort agents remained present in the consulting room. These were intimate matters. For example, an HIV infection that they do not want the guards to know about”.
To improve access to care, you have to recruit, says the Observatory. Since 2007, the number of carers needed in prison has not been reassessed, yet the number of prisoners has continued to increase.