–2– a. Access to a doctor 33. When entering prison, all prisoners should without delay be seen by a member of the establishment's health care service. In its reports to date the CPT has recommended that every newly arrived prisoner be properly interviewed and, if necessary, physically examined by a medical doctor as soon as possible after his admission. It should be added that in some countries, medical screening on arrival is carried out by a fully qualified nurse, who reports to a doctor. This latter approach could be considered as a more efficient use of available resources.2 It is also desirable that a leaflet or booklet be handed to prisoners on their arrival, informing them of the existence and operation of the health care service and reminding them of basic measures of hygiene. 34. While in custody, prisoners should be able to have access to a doctor at any time, irrespective of their detention regime (as regards more particularly access to a doctor for prisoners held in solitary confinement, see paragraph 56 of the CPT's 2nd General Report: CPT/Inf (92) 3). The health care service should be so organised as to enable requests to consult a doctor to be met without undue delay. Prisoners should be able to approach the health care service on a confidential basis, for example, by means of a message in a sealed envelope. Further, prison officers should not seek to screen requests to consult a doctor. 35. A prison's health care service should at least be able to provide regular out-patient consultations and emergency treatment (of course, in addition there may often be a hospital-type unit with beds). The services of a qualified dentist should be available to every prisoner. Further, prison doctors should be able to call upon the services of specialists. As regards emergency treatment, a doctor should always be on call. Further, someone competent to provide first aid should always be present on prison premises, preferably someone with a recognised nursing qualification. Out-patient treatment should be supervised, as appropriate, by health care staff; in many cases it is not sufficient for the provision of follow-up care to depend upon the initiative being taken by the prisoner. 36. The direct support of a fully-equipped hospital service should be available, in either a civil or prison hospital. If recourse is had to a civil hospital, the question of security arrangements will arise. In this respect, the CPT wishes to stress that prisoners sent to hospital to receive treatment should not be physically attached to their hospital beds or other items of furniture for custodial reasons. Other means of meeting security needs satisfactorily can and should be found; the creation of a custodial unit in such hospitals is one possible solution. 37. Whenever prisoners need to be hospitalised or examined by a specialist in a hospital, they should be transported with the promptness and in the manner required by their state of health. 2 This requirement has subsequently been reformulated as follows: every newly-arrived prisoner should be properly interviewed and physically examined by a medical doctor as soon as possible after his admission; save for in exceptional circumstances, that interview/examination should be carried out on the day of admission, especially insofar as remand establishments are concerned. Such medical screening on admission could also be performed by a fully qualified nurse reporting to a doctor.

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