In the frame of the case concerning access to adequate medical care for persons held in detention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recorded a number of issues and made recommendations to the RA Government. Back in September 2020, HCA Vanadzor presented to the Committee alternative information on this judgement implementation process.
In June 2021, in the frame of supervision of the execution of Ashot Harutyunyan v. Armenia case judgement, the Committee of Ministers noted the updates on the continuation of reforms of the prison healthcare system, in particular on the start of the operation of the Centre for Penitentiary Medicine and the measures taken for meeting its staffing and operational needs; strongly encouraged the authorities to continue their efforts to ensure the Centre’s effective functioning, including by fully ensuring appropriate working conditions, provision of equipment, as well as the implementation of proper human resources and professional development policies. The Committee underlined that access to appropriate medication remains among persistent challenges for the prison healthcare system and invited the authorities to inform the Committee on the progress in introduction of the new mechanism for improving medication supply and the practical effects of its operation.
The Committee welcomed further amendments to the sub-legislation, aimed notably at the approximation of the penitentiary medical care to the civilian one, as well as improvement of the policies and procedures for referral of detainees to civilian medical institutions. Further, the Committee requested the authorities to provide specific information on the actual impact of these measures on reducing delays in transfers to specialised medical institutions or access to specialised medical care, as well as the information on the current practices of initial medical screening, regular and comprehensive medical check-ups of those detained.
Underlining the importance of affording the detainees real and effective redress in respect of complaints concerning access to appropriate health care, the Committee called upon the authorities to provide detailed information on the contents of the draft amendments foreseeing the revision of the remedies currently in force as well as to inform the Committee of the calendar for their adoption; explanations should be provided on how the preventive remedy is envisaged to function, including what direct redress measures can be ordered in such cases and by whom; the authorities are also expected to provide additional information on the Convention-compliant application of the compensatory remedy.
The Committee invited the authorities to provide updated information by 31 March 2022 on all outstanding issues related to ensuring access to adequate medical aid for those held in detention.
On 21 September 2020, HCA Vanadzor provided alternative information to the Committee regarding the judgement execution process. HCA Vanadzor recorded that there were issues related to, inter alia, quick transfer of patients from the penitentiary institution, the Center’s sufficient medical staffing and, in particular, filling vacancies, providing the Center’s divisions with the necessary medical and laboratory tools and equipment.