Public Defender Founds Promotion of Discrimination against Persons Subject to Mandatory Psychiatric Treatment
On 28 September 2018, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Prime Minister of Georgia with a general proposal to amend the Government’s decree1 on the approval of hepatitis C state programme, which ensures availability of the programme services for the beneficiaries of long-term psychiatric inpatient service.
Examination of the case showed that the persons who are subject to mandatory psychiatric treatment as punishment, unlike the inmates who serve their sentences in prison, do not have access to the hepatitis C state programme. According to the Ministry of Health, the beneficiaries of long-term psychiatric inpatient services, as exception, do not have access to the hepatitis C state programme services, because the psychiatric health center, where they are placed, does not have resources for conducting specific examinations in the process of monitoring the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.
The Public Defender noted in the general proposal that provision of health care for persons deprived of their liberty is the obligation of the state. They should enjoy the same standards of health care as the rest of the population and should have access to essential health services free of charge, without discriminatory treatment because of their legal status.
ThePublic Defender concluded that the exclusion of long-term psychiatric inpatient service recipients from the hepatitis C state programme in the absence of the relevant legitimate goal, on the basis of only technical resource-related circumstances, promotes discrimination.
1Decree #169 of 20 April 2015.