Do you have the right to medical aid?

You have the right to medical care during your whole stay at the place of detention. Emergency medical care must always be free. 

You have to be ensured with access to medical examination and necessary health services. The detention centre has a permanent treatment facility for the supervision of your state of health. Health services in detention centre is provided by persons with family physician's qualifications pursuant to the provisions regulating the provision of specialised outpatient care. They are required to supervise your state of health on a constant basis and place you in treatment in the Hospital if your state of health does not allow your detention in the detention centre or expulsion from Estonia.

The right to medical care does not mean that the State has a duty to pay for everything. In Estonia, basic medical care, including medicine prescribed by a doctor, will be provided free of charge. The extent and procedure of funding from the state budget your medical examination and necessary health services provided to you are established by a regulation of the Minister of the Social Affairs. The state does not have a duty to pay for expensive medical treatment which is not immediately necessary. 

Your state of health will be checked at the time of your placement in the place of detention. A special patient card will be prepared.

What human rights violation may there be?

Inhumane or degrading treatment

A lack of appropriate medical aid may result in a human rights violation such as inhumane or degrading treatment. For example, if you are suffering from stomach pain for a considerable time and you are not able to see a doctor. 

However, it will not always be a human rights violation if you do not receive medical aid instantly. The suffering and mistreatment has to reach at least a minimum level of severity. When assessing whether the lack of medical aid resulted in inhumane or degrading treatment, such things as the duration of the suffering, the physical and psychological effects, your age, gender and the condition of your health would be taken into account. Read more about how to evaluate whether your rights have been violated.

Right to life

If the detainee dies because of the lack of required medical help whilst in detention, it may result in a violation of the right to life. Read more about how to evaluate whether the right to life has been violated.


Last updated 19/12/2018