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A rapporteur calls on the Greek authorities to improve the situation at the Korydallos prison hospital

Alarmed by the living conditions at the Korydallos prison hospital in Greece, Liliane Maury Pasquier (Switzerland, SOC), PACE rapporteur on equal access to health care, has called on the Greek authorities to improve the situation as soon as possible.

“I am very concerned at the insalubrious conditions of inmates at the Korydallos prison hospital in Athens, reported in the media. The hospital, which was designed to cater for 60 persons, is said to currently be housing 200 prisoners, most of whom are allegedly HIV-positive or suffering from contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis. In such conditions, it is impossible to ensure that prisoners receive appropriate treatment, not to mention the fact that overcrowding obviously contributes to the spreading of contagious diseases, thereby endangering the lives of all prisoners in the hospital.”

“The right to health is a fundamental human right and the State must guarantee everyone equal access to appropriate health care. This applies in particular to prisoners who are entirely under the authority and responsibility of the State. I therefore call on the Greek government to improve the living conditions of prisoners at the Korydallos prison hospital as soon as possible. The possible release of some prisoners from the hospital, as announced by the Minister of Justice, would only make sense if the Greek government were to guarantee that, on release, they would receive the treatment they require.”

On 26 June 2013 the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Resolution 1946 (2013) entitled “Equal access to health care” in which it pointed out that inequalities in access to care particularly affect vulnerable groups, including persons in detention. While preparing her report, Ms Maury Pasquier visited Greece and noted the negative impact of austerity measures on access to health care.