Improve prison health care in Canada

March 04, 2013

Canada needs to reform its patchwork system of prison health care that does not adequately care for prisoners' complex health care needs, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

"What is desperately needed is a well-organized and coordinated system of health care, one that follows the offender from the start of his or her incarceration to release and successful return to the community," writes Dr. Ken Flegel, senior associate editor, CMAJ with Dr. Françoise Bouchard, former director general of health services, Correctional Services of Canada.

The health of many people in prisons is worse than in the general population, with a higher incidence of communicable diseases, mental health issues and chronic illnesses. However, health care is delivered in an ad hoc way and managed by prison executives.

"This level of care is too patchy for the real health needs of prisoners and puts unwarranted strain on all of the staff."

Most prisoners are eventually released back into the community; providing better health care will also benefit the families and the larger community that will need to care for them.

Several countries in Europe have improved prison health care in recent decades by employing their public health care system to provide care.

"Ultimately, prison health care reform should include all jurisdictions involved in correctional services (federal, provincial and territorial) to bring a seamless approach and adequate health care to this population," conclude the authors.
-end-


Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.