Neither the Asylum Act nor the Asylum Regulation mention explicitly the possibility to have medical reports supporting the applicant’s allegations. Nonetheless, the law does state that the competent authority will be able to ask any institution or organisation to provide a report on the situation of the applicant. In practice, medical reports are often used and included in the applicant’s asylum file.
The examinations are paid by public funds, as all asylum seekers have full and free access to the Spanish public health system. The examination may be requested by either the applicant or the OAR itself in case it deems it necessary, although this rarely happens in practice.
It should be noted that medical reports on the conditions of asylum seekers in Spain are not only relevant under the asylum process but also in case the asylum application is denied, to provide the possibility to receive a residence permit based on humanitarian grounds.
There are no ad hoc organisations or specialised bodies carrying out the medical assessment for asylum seekers, or writing medical reports for asylum applications.
The methodology recommended under the Istanbul Protocol is not always applied. Its application depends on the characteristics of the patient and his or her past experiences, and it is up to the doctor’s discretion whether to follow the Protocol or not.