National Preventive Group of the Ombudsman carried out a visit to Salyan Interregional Psychiatric Hospital

Members of National Preventive Group (NPG) conducted an ad hoc visit to Salyan Interregional Psychiatric Hospital of the Ministry of Health without prior notice as part of the activities within National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) mandate of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

The NPG members monitored the living conditions, treatment issues, nutrition level, access to medical-social care services, the situation of investigating the incoming appeals, ensuring the rights of hospitalized patients and proper documentation in the facility during the special quarantine regime enacted for the prevention of wide spread of novel COVID-19 infection and strengthen the fight against it. 

In the course of the visits, the NPG members monitored rooms and departments, canteen, food storage and other units of the facility, investigated the existing situation and documentation concerning provision of medical assistance, nutrition, supply of hot and cold drinking water, walking, meeting and phone calls. They have identified some deficiencies.

During the visit, the administration of the facility reported that the sanity-hygienic situation is under control; patients regularly undergo check-up and are provided with disinfectants and protective equipment. This was noted that the working staff has been informed about the rules of protection against COVID-19, also visits by their relatives have been suspended.

It was found that kitchen and food warehouse of the hospital were built in 1963 and fail to meet standards now; rules of properly storing vegetable products are not followed.

The administration of the facility was given legal advice in line with the legislation concerning the elimination of deficiencies in documentation, legislative requirements were explained. The chief of the hospital reported that staff numbers of 11 doctor and 20 nurse are vacant that leads to difficulties in rendering medical assistance.

In conclusion, the NPG members communicated legal awareness discussion to the administration and responsible staff of the facility based on the UN Principles for the protection of persons with mental illness and the improvement of mental health care and the Law on Psychiatric Assistance of the Republic of Azerbaijan as part of Human Rights Month-long Campaign. They put recommendations concerning social distancing and observing hygiene in order to be protected against coronavirus epidemic.