2020 m. January 8 d.

The Seimas Ombudsman welcomes interinstitutional agreement on Compulsory Health Insurance for convicts

The Seimas Ombudsman welcomes the interinstitutional agreement on Compulsory Health Insurance for convicted persons, which was approved by the Seimas. The President has signed Amendments to the Law on Health Insurance adopted by the Seimas on 17 December 2019 and effective since 1 January 2020, that extend the list of persons covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance.

The law expands the list of public funds held by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund to include funds for necessary medicines, preventive medical treatment, insurance of immunoprophylaxis programme measures as well as laboratory diagnosis and treatment control of communicable diseases of persons held at detention institutions.

While performing the functions of the National Human Rights Institution, the Seimas Ombudsman, Augustinas Normantas, repeatedly drew the attention of state institutions to the fact that the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund should cover all and not part of convicts. Recalling the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Seimas Ombudsman noted that access to health care for prisoners is a national responsibility and that detainees and convicts should be afforded the same quality of health care as the rest of the society.

According to the previous legal regulation, only a part of the health care services provided to detainees and convicts (acquisition of medicines needed for treatment of dangerous communicable diseases and all health care services provided by state and municipal public health care institutions) was financed from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund and health services provided to convicts were paid for from the state budget allocations of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Seimas Ombudsmen protect a person‘s right to good public administration securing human rights and freedoms, and supervise fulfilment by state authorities of their duty to properly serve the people. The Seimas Ombudsmen also conduct national prevention of torture in places of deprivation of liberty in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office is a national human rights institution accredited by the United Nations.

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