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Romania’s silence

Despite the numerous promises by the Romanian health ministry’s spokesperson Mihai Ursa, I never received answers to the questions I sent in August. The health ministry is the one responsible for the two institutions mentioned in this investigation – Mocrea psychiatric hospital and Gura Vaii ward for ‘chronically ill patients’.

Romania’s social ministry never answered my questions as well.

Amongst the many unanswered questions were:

– How is the reform progressing? What has changed in recent years (since 2007) in terms of human rights of people in institutions/ material base of institutions/ medical therapy/ social and other types of therapy/ deinstitutionalisation/ alternative types of care (day centers, protected housing, etc.).

– During my visits to mental institutions in Romania I found disturbing cases of inhuman and degrading treatment (for example lack of adequate living conditions; lack of adequate psychiatric care; lack of adequate social-, physio-, art-therapy or lack of any therapy at all; people locked for years in their rooms with no apparent reason, like prisoners, etc.). Is the government aware of these issues and if so, what is it doing to prevent them?

– Could you please explain to me the difference between people, who spend long years in wards for chronically ill patients, and people with psychiatric illness who live in institutions under the social ministry? Also – why in psychiatric wards for chronically ill patients there are many people with mental disabilities, and sometimes – just homeless people?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. tracy campbell permalink
    February 9, 2010 12:22 pm

    is there anything i can do to help that is hands on… i have been so obsessed with helping in a hands on way over the years and its only now that i have the time to do this, as my life is at a time where i can give without neglecting my own family.. i would love to help, i feel a sense of frustration just sitting still… the images are strong and moving but we still dont live the personal struggle, merely spectators that continue on there own life paths once the video footage ends.. i feel compelled to do so tell me how. yours, tracy campbell

  2. sophia peel permalink
    December 6, 2010 8:48 pm

    I have been to Mocrea several times myself with the Reaching Romania charity. I agree with everything you have said regarding human rights. As a trainee clinical psychologist myself, i echo that there does need alternatives to psychiatric instituitions such as day centres and therapy. My aim is to fully qualify as a clinical psychologist and become fluent in Romanian. I have learnt a lot of Romanian over the past 6 yrs and each time i come i learn more. Once i have accomplished this, i would like to live in Romania permanently and find a way of offering therapy to those in need of it.

    I would also like to add that a lot of residents at Mocrea do not experience mental difficulties, but instead the state reside them there due to their physical disabilities, or place people there because they do not know what else to do with them. This in itself is extremely problematic, as segregating people from the outside community is not beneficial for all.

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