Prison health care

The Queensland Times - - NEWS -

HEALTH­CARE in­side pris­ons is de­liv­ered by Queens­land Health, and in south-east Queens­land it is pri­mar­ily the re­spon­si­bil­ity of West More­ton Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice.

Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions re­ferred all health ques­tions to West More­ton HHS, which de­clined to com­ment on Peter’s case due to pri­vacy con­cerns.

West More­ton HHS spokes­woman Dr Leanne Gep­pert did re­lease fig­ures about the num­ber of pris­on­ers the ser­vice treats.

She said more than 2200 pris­on­ers, in­clud­ing ju­ve­niles, were treated. Staff de­liv­ered close to 22,400 ‘oc­ca­sions of ser­vice’ to pris­on­ers in­side Wol­ston in 2016-17, to a pop­u­la­tion that usu­ally hov­ers about 750 pris­on­ers. Oc­ca­sions of ser­vice in­clude ap­point­ments with staff such as doc­tors, nurses, di­eti­cians, den­tists, op­tometrists and re­fer­rals to spe­cial­ists or hos­pi­tals. As of Au­gust 23, there were seven pris­on­ers in­side Wol­ston be­ing treated for can­cer. It is the lead­ing cause of death in Aus­tralian pris­ons, with the lat­est pub­lic data show­ing it ac­counted for one in five deaths in 2011-12 and 2012-13. As ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of men­tal health and spe­cialised ser­vices, Dr Gep­pert said West More­ton HHS took its role treat­ing pris­on­ers very se­ri­ously. She said the ser­vice was de­ter­mined to pro­vide a level of care to pris­on­ers com­men­su­rate with what they would re­ceive in the com­mu­nity.

“In some cir­cum­stances, the med­i­cal care and treat­ment re­quired by pris­on­ers can be more com­plex than oth­ers,” she said.

West More­ton HHS did not an­swer ques­tions about staffing lev­els in the Wol­ston health cen­tre. Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions said only that pris­on­ers who re­quired care be­yond what was avail­able at the cen­tre would be taken to hospi­tal.

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