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During his visits to psychiatric institutions, the Seimas Ombudsman was pleasantly surprised by their progress toward eliminating human rights violations

28 December 2016

psichiatrijos lovaA re-visit of Šiauliai Psychiatric Clinic and Rokiškis Psychiatric Hospital revealed that the mental institutions had implemented most recommendations the Seimas Ombudsman had made concerning the elimination of human rights violations.

“From thirteen recommendations provided to Šiauliai Hospital Psychiatry Clinic eleven are already implemented, two recommendations implemented partially,” noted the Seimas Ombudsman.

During a visit to Šiauliai Psychiatric Clinic three years ago, the advisers of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office identified several human rights violations which the hospital initially was reluctant to eliminate.

“The changes in Šiauliai Psychiatric Clinic’s administration and the meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Health and Lithuanian psychiatrists, including prof. Arūnas Germanavičius, Vilnius University Faculty of Health and the Chief Psychiatrist of Lithuania prof. Virginija Adomaitienė, the head of LSMU Psychiatric Clinic, produced the positive results,” noted Mr. Normantas.

Nonetheless, the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office pointed out that Šiauliai Psychiatric Clinic should work on achieving satisfactory hygiene standards by providing more space to patients in the Department of Subacute Care and avoiding having more than four patients in any one ward.

Mr. Normantas also recommended to ensure a daily walk to all patients as well as to make sure that the general use of the premises is monitored.

The Seimas Ombudsman cited the positive changes: “The clinic has developed the facilities’ renovation plans also the investment projects were designed, which entailed reducing the number of beds in wards to four, as well as plans to install surveillance cameras in all public premises."

After visiting Rokiškis Psychiatric Hospital, the Seimas Ombudsman, Augustinas Normantas, noted substantial improvements concerning human rights there, emphasising the necessity of respecting the privacy of female patients.

“It is necessary to ensure that patients would be as minimum time as possible in locked premises, the measures of constraint cannot be used in present of others,” he noted.

The Seimas Ombudsman drew the attention of the hospital’s administration to the overcrowded wards. “There are wards with a population of four or five persons; the use of restraint measures in the face of other patients causes the deepest concern, though,” noted Mr. Normantas.

The Seimas Ombudsman holds the view that the practice of using security services in the hospitals to encounter aggressive and violent patients is questionable. “In cases when the physical violence is to be used against patients, it should only be done by properly trained health workers,” emphasised the Seimas Ombudsman.

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