Thursday, May 23, 2013

Prisons Cut Back on Healthcare

My ideas on the below article:  I know that many, many people would support these cuts in healthcare for prison workers.  Whenever I read comments regarding convicted criminals, the majority seem to call for the death penalty, so we won't have to spend our precious tax dollars on inmates.  I had an interesting experience this year in which a social worker from a women's prison visited my sociology class.  She said she knew of one prisoner who had to have treatment on her eyes.  Unfortunately, it took so long to process the request that she did not receive treatment until much later.  Even worse, her doctors told her that if she had come earlier, they would have been able to completely fix the problem, but now she will probably go blind due to the degenerative nature of her condition.  The social worker said she was split two ways - she would like to see more reasonable healthcare in our prisons, but at the same time, she understands if prisoners have less access to healthcare than others.  Since the U.S. imprisons many a larger proportion of natives than do other countries, perhaps not everyone in prison is as bad as we think.  Would it be better if prisoners who committed less serious crimes got treatment first?  This way, maybe the system better serves those who were involved in less wrongdoing.  Or should healthcare be very minimal for all prisoners?  Feel free to comment.

Ohio prisons cutting medical costs
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio prisons cut more than $26 million from inmate medical expenses last year, a state prisons inspection committee reports.
The Correctional Institution Inspection Committee report shows a 15.2 percent reduction in prison medical expenses in 2012, The Columbus Dispatch ( reported. The state paid $188.3 million in 2012 for medical services compared with $211.5 million in 2011 and $222.8 million for medical services in 2010.
The report by the legislative agency that monitors Ohio prisons also said the number of inmate patient visits to nurses and doctors dropped by 25 percent last year from 2009 and the number of inmates seen per health care worker dropped to 48 in 2012 from a high of 65 in 2006.
The savings resulted from a long process of "looking at every aspect of our health care system," according to Stuart Hudson, chief of medical services for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

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