Corrections breaches woman’s rights by failing to chart drugs promptly

+News

Corrections breaches woman’s rights by failing to chart drugs promptly

Prison
Inadequate medical care by a Department of Corrections health centre left a woman with multiple co-morbidities in pain for days
"A person being held in custody does not have the same choices or ability to access health services as a person living in the community" An “over

Comments

Groundhog Day!

The systematic failings that led to these events have been detailed in the excellent National Health Committee's report of (I think) 2010.

That report seems to have been ignored by political parties of all flavours.

At the root of the problem lies the fact that all people in NZ are under the care of the Director General of Health. Unless, and this is extraordinary, you are a prisoner. Then the responsibility for your heath care lies with the Department of Corrections.

Seriously? On what planet should one, and only one subset of society have the responsibility for delivery of their health care come under a department responsible for custody?

The sort of failings reported in this article will just keep on happening unless there is political will for change that values a just society ahead of popularism and a 'lock them all up' mentality.

 

I agree with Wayne. Corrections is not a suitable entity to be responsible for the delivery of healthcare for prisoners. Staff are overworked and under-supported and must conform to a set of written and unwritten expectations which may conflict with their obligations as healthcare professionals. Section 75(2) of the Corrections Act 2004 says that the standard of health care available to prisoners must be reasonably equivalent to the standard of healthcare available to the public. This does not seem to be happening, especially in relation to access to prescribed drugs, (including things like antihypertensives and diabetes medication) as well as access to medical and dental treatment.

Perhaps the Act should be amended to read; "reasonably equivalent to the standard of healthcare available to the public of New Zealand", in case Corrections is labouring under the delusion  that the standard of healthcare is the one available to the inhabitants of a desert island... or even another planet entirely!

Dr Frances Matthews, Christchurch