Prison health care
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.