The Public Defender of Rights

Protection of Persons Restricted in their Freedom

Psychiatric Institutions

Psychiatric hospitals are occupied by patients who gave voluntary consent to their admission but also by patients in the mode of the so-called involuntarily hospitalisation, when the admissibility of their admission or confinement to a hospital was decided on by a court in so-called detention proceedings. Restriction of freedom within the Public Defender of Rights Act can concern both groups and therefore the Defender performs systematic visits to psychiatric hospitals. At present, the Defender is the only mechanism of external, independent control in psychiatric hospitals. Moreover, there is no legal regulation governing the rights and obligations of patients in these hospitals and the regime conditions related to treatment. The risk that patients will be subjected to ill-treatment is thus increased.

Basic findings following from systematic visits and recommendations aimed at stopping ill-treatment or its prevention are given in Zpráva z návštěv z psychiatrických léčeben [the Report on Visits to Psychiatric Hospitals], and the findings from follow-up visits are summarized in Zpráva z následných návštěv psychiatrických léčeben [Report on Follow-up Visits to Psychiatric Hospitals]. In psychiatric hospitals, specifically in wards for senior patients, the Defender also carries out thematic inquiries, for example into malnutrition issues. Risks related to stays of persons with mental disability in psychiatric hospitals were addressed by the Defender in an annex to his Report for the Chamber of Deputies in 2009.

The Defender is not entitled to deal with individual complaints about the care provided. Complains may be directed to the head of a mental hospital, a promoter, which is usually the Ministry of Health, the Czech Medical Chamber or a health insurance company. The Defender may only look into how a state administration body has disposed of the complaint. The Defender inquires into individual complaints in cases when the complainant is serving protective institutional treatment in the hospital.

Visited psychiatric institutions

Map of already visited psychiatric institutions

Reports from visits of psychiatric institutions

Visits and activities in 2013

Visits and activities in 2012

Visits and activities in 2011

 Report on follow-up visits to psychiatric clinics (November 2010) (298.1 kB, Adobe Acrobat document)

Visits and activities in 2009

 Placement and Stays of Mentally Disabled Persons in Mental Homes (January 2010) (352.6 kB, Adobe Acrobat document) – annex to the Report of the Defender for the 4th Quarter of 2009

Visits and activities in 2008

 Report from visits of psychiatric institutions (September 2008) - summary (874 kB, Adobe Acrobat document)

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