The european prison rules 411 assert that every

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The European Prison Rules (41.1) assert that: “every prison shall have the services of at least one qualified general medical practitioner”. It doesn't always happen. In Greece, for example, in most prisons there is not even one permanent medical practitioner of any qualification, and prisoners are examined by visiting doctors who offer their services for two hours each week. In Latvia, in 2010, 2 of 12 prisons did not have a single general medical practitioner. Moreover, even if a permanent medical practitioner is present in every establishment, often the needs outnumber the number of practitioners. In France, for example, there are, on average, 3,5 full-time practitioners per 1.000 inmates, but in some other prisons there are less than two medical practitioners working full time for 1.000 inmates. In the UK, many inspection reports speak of long waits to see a doctor. Another aspect raised by the polish report is the medical staff training: most of the practitioners do not fulfil their statutory requirement of continuing education. The European Prison Rules also assert that: “the services of qualified dentists and opticians shall be available to every prisoner” (41.5). Most of th e national reports are critical about the implementation of this rule, as prisoners' needs are not satisfactory met. In principle, dental care must be made available within all prisons, given the widespread needs in particular among prisoners with a drug addiction. But the waiting list are considerable (i.e. 3 months in Portugal), even in case of urgent need: in France the waiting time for an emergency consultation is more than one week in over one prison out of five (21%). While in the past dental prostheses were often freely distributed in great number, nowadays this happens very rarely (in Italy for example) because of the lack of funding, and many prisoners complaint that dentist work is reduced to dental extractions only (according to the Latvian report). Poland is a happy and welcome exception in this respect, because, according to the report of the Supreme Audit Office, in 2012 every prisoner got on average 3 visits from a dentist. In general opticians consult in prison when called by the general physician, but also in this case the waiting time is considerable. There is widespread attention to the contagious conditions inside prison, in order to avoid the spread of infectious diseases. In all countries the law provides some measures to isolate a prisoner suffering MEDICAL HEALTH CARE PERSONNEL INFECTIOUS OR CONTAGIOUS CONDITIONS
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European Prison Observatory Prison in Europe: overview and trends 22 from an infectious or contagious condition (or suspected of being so). In some cases the decision is the responsibility of the doctor (i.e. in France and Poland), in others it is shared between doctor and governor (Greece).
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