Are there sufficient paramedics in the police detention center?
At a consultation day in the police detention center in Graz, Ombudswoman Stoisits looked into the working conditions of the medical service. It seemed understaffed and therefore, Ombudswoman Stoisits initiated an ex-officio investigation procedure.
In a letter to Interior Minister Maria Fekter, the Ombudswoman demanded a statement regarding the working conditions in the medical service: Who is working there and with what kind of training? How many extra hours are needed? Have training sessions been attended during working hours? In the investigative proceedings, the Austrian Ombudsman Board determined a blatant shortage of staff: Only one person was working full time in the medical service.
Ombudsperson Stoisits asked the Federal Ministry of the Interior for at least two "full-time" paramedics in the PAZ Graz. "The medical service in the police detention center faces particular challenges in their daily work such as language difficulties and illiteracy of some inmates. In addition, the health service also supports therapy measures and has certain duties in case of hunger strikes”, said the Ombudswoman.
In her statement, the Minister of the Interior commented on the demands of Ombudswoman Stoisits. A comprehensive evaluation of the medical service would take place and a "total package " is being prepared that "will to some extent significantly entail restructuring of the medical services."
According to the Ministry, special trainings will be carried out by mid-March 2011.
"The awareness of the Ministry of the Interior on this issue and the steps announced are positive. The Austrian Ombudsman Board will review in the coming months whether the promised changes are carried out effectively", said Ombudswoman Stoisits.