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Health care behind bars

Zorg Achter Tralies. Een onderzoek naar kwaliteitsaspecten van de gezondheidszorg in penitentiaire inrichtingen


In 1997 the Dutch Inspectorate for Health Care carried out a study into the quality of health care in Dutch prisons. The goal of the study was to review, in general terms, the quality of health care in prisons and to formulate recommendations for improvements. The study focused on both structural and process-related aspects of prison health care. Data were collected in all 39 Dutch prisons and jails by means of questionnaires given to all care providers (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists and a selected sample of wardens), one member of each prison board and a selected sample of prisoners (N=821). In addition, interviews were held in 30 medical units with a doctor, a nurse and a psychologist in each, focusing in particular on addiction, HIV/AIDs and suicide. Results based on an overall response rate of 77% revealed a need for improvements, including development of a policy framework for the organization of health care in prisons and the development of a policy on quality.

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