During August inst., the social workers of the “Positive Initiative” organization referred 11 beneficiaries of the Methadone Substitution Therapy Program to the lawyers of the Moldovan Human Rights Institution (IDOM) for consultation.
This program’s beneficiaries invoked a number of problems in the complaints they addressed to IDOM, including:
- Patients are not offered the necessary medical counseling, not even on their request;
- Patients are refused periodic evaluations of the severity of their addiction. Patient supervision is not provided;
- No individual treatment (support in treatment) plans with methadone substitution induction are prepared;
- Some are refused to be enrolled in the Methadone Substitution Therapy Program, even if they meet the criteria for admission to the methadone-substitution treatment. There is groundless elimination of persons who already were in the program;
- Sudden reduction of methadone dose, without coordinating the dose reduction pace with the patient. Failure to adjust the treatment scheme to patient’s needs. As a result, patients are wasted for two or three weeks;
- Patient’s remission is not evaluated to determine the criteria for issue of methadone at home, even if they meet the criteria for home methadone prescription and have been under treatment for one or two years;
- Patients are not offered a multidisciplinary (medical-psycho-social) approach; thus they are not encouraged to continue their treatment etc.
As a result of the interpellation sent by IDOM regarding the frequent violations of the rights of the beneficiaries of the Methadone Substitution Therapy Program, as part of the healthcare services provided by public medical-sanitary facilities, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection of Moldova requested that the medical and non-medical staff of its subordinated institutions be informed about the normative acts in this field and follow the ethics and deontological norms in providing medical assistance to the patients, without using negative practices of stigma and discrimination against the patients, including when providing specialized narcologic medical assistance.