Improve prison health care in Canada, CMAJ editorial says

March 4, 2013, Canadian Medical Association Journal

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, and . 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 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.

Explore further: Overcrowding in prisons negatively affects health

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.130149

Related Stories

Overcrowding in prisons negatively affects health

November 5, 2012
an issue in most prisons in Canada and other parts of the world—negatively impacts the mental and physical health of prisoners, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Mandatory flu vaccine for health care workers to protect patients

October 29, 2012
All health care workers in health care institutions should be vaccinated with the annual influenza vaccine to protect patients, argues an editorial in CMAJ.

Quality health care delivery key election issue, says CMAJ

April 6, 2011
Delivering quality health care rather than health care sustainability is a key issue for Canada's federal election, and Canadians need a vision from federal leaders to radically transform our health care system, states an ...

Elderly prisoners need better medical care: report

June 14, 2012
Soaring numbers of older, sicker prisoners are causing an unprecedented health care challenge for the nation's criminal justice system, according to a new UCSF report.

Health care for released prisoners prevents high emergency department use

July 20, 2012
Expediting primary health care for chronically ill inmates soon after release from prison results in fewer visits to hospital emergency departments, a Yale study has found. The study is published in the American Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.