Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

“Penitentiary medical center” SNCO providing medical services to persons deprived of their liberty will be launched in January, 2019

December 5, 2018

Right to Protection of Health | Legal Support | Legal Support | News

On January 15, 2019, “Penitentiary medical center” SNCO, acting under the RA Ministry of Justice, will be launched. It will provide inpatient and outpatient, as well as dental services to persons deprived of their liberty. The licensing will be carried out by the RA Ministry of Health.


This information was given to HCA Vanadzor by a letter dated November 9, 2018, sent by Suren Krmoyan, RA deputy Minister of Justice.


In September 2018, the wife of A.N. – a convict of “Vanadzor” penitentiary institution- applied to HCA Vanadzor and told that her husband needed dental aid, but the penitentiary institution did not provide it reasoning that there was no dentist.


Dentist V. M. also applied to HCA Vanadzor and informed that he periodically provided dental services for persons serving their sentence in “Vanadzor” penitentiary institution. However, since it was not of permanent nature, he did not obtain a license for that activity, as tax obligations that it entailed were not equivalent to the income of the activity. Not only was he taxed for providing dental services in a penitentiary institution without an appropriate license, but he was also fined by a total of 400,000 AMD.


Therefore, on the one side, obstacles are placed for persons providing dental services and on the other side, they reason that the penitentiary institution does not have a dentist and thus cannot provide the service.


On September 28, 2018, HCA Vanadzor applied to the RA Minister of Justice Artak Zeynalyan with the matter of the necessary medical aid provision to the convict and unobstructed provision of dental services in the RA penitentiary institutions.  


It is noteworthy that the RA Ministry of Justice penitentiary service deputy head H. Kochinyan replied only about the medical aid provided to convict A. N., however, the Ministry did not address the matter of general unobstructed provision of dental services. 


And it was only after the second letter on the same matter by HCA Vanadzor that the RA deputy minister S. Krmoyan informed that in accordance with the decision made on March 1, 2017, “Penitentiary medical center” SNCO will start operating on January 15, 2019 and the activity made within its framework will be licensed by the RA Ministry of Health. The current legislation on the licensing sphere is not applicable to the medical activity of penitentiary institutions.

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