DUBAI // Dubai Central Prison plans to improve security by upgrading its inpatient medical service for inmates.
Those who require hospitalisation currently are transferred from the prison to Rashid Hospital. Two officers must accompany each patient for the trip, regardless of the duration, and remain throughout the hospital stay.
"We want to reduce the security risk that comes with transferring prisoners to hospital," said Lieutenant Rashid Barman, the director of the prison's medical care section.
The medical centre has its own surveillance system and a control room to ensure a safe environment.
"Tight security is important, especially in the pharmacy, as prisoners with previous addiction problems might try to steal medicine," said Lt Barman.
Already in place at the prison medical centre, which is staffed around the clock, are a pharmacy, optometrist, dentist, gynaecologist, psychologist and paediatric clinic.
Inmates with HIV and cancer are supervised at the centre and there is an area for quarantine with 60-person capacity to house inmates with contagious diseases.
All treatments that take place in hospital are paid for by Dubai Police, according to the prison administration. The operating costs for the centre was not disclosed, but Major General Khamis al Mazeina, the deputy head of Dubai Police, said Dh159,000 had been paid for the treatment of one prisoner with cancer.
However, most prisoners do not require such intensive treatment.