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Prison Healthcare

Physicians Call for Better Healthcare for U.S. Prison Population

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

Faced with infectious disease dangers, no funds for copays, mounting medical debt, and other issues, there could be more obstacles to healthcare access for adults in correctional facilities than any other U.S. population. This week, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a policy paper about this subject.

Among 22 recommendations, ACP calls for policies that address substance use and behavioral disorders; offering proper nutrition, physical activity, and other preventive care measures; and creating plans for a healthcare access plan once adults transition out of prison and back to their communities. ACP also highlighted the need for special attention regarding healthcare needs for women, immigrants, aging prisoners, and LGBTQ+ populations.

“Incarceration can negatively affect the health and well-being of millions of patients, their families, and communities across America,” said ACP President Ryan D. Mire, MD, MACP. “As a society, we need to fund and implement public policies that ensure access to medically necessary healthcare services during incarceration. ACP recognizes the vital importance of correctional healthcare toward achieving health equity for all and promoting the public health of our communities.”

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Hospital Case Management and Medical Ethics Advisor.