The medical staff working in North Macedonia’s prisons now receive 30% higher salaries, as a result of the recently introduced hazard duty pay, agreed by the Ministry of Health and respective trade union at the end of 2022. This major change follows the legislative analysis developed by the action, the subsequent roadmap on improving healthcare in prisons, as well as the intensive communication of the Council of Europe with the highest representatives of the Government, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice, part of the broader consultations with all stakeholders. It is expected this raise will further incentivise future applicants for the positions of medical staff in prisons, thus improving the overall quality of healthcare provision.
This important step is addressing one of the most important recommendation and findings of the reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the EU Progress reports, the Ombudsman reports, as well as reports of relevant CSOs. Identified as one of the most critical issues, healthcare in prisons has been on the focus of this action throughout the past years and will continue to be one of the topics to be addressed under Horizontal Facility phase III.
This achievement was accomplished following the expertise provided under the action on “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia”, which is a part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022".