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Bordelais Correctional Facility Has a Full-time Doctor

Creates Less of a Threat for Citizens, Says Health Minister

By Marvlin Anthony
Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste
Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste

A full-time medical doctor is now available at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) to treat inmates, Health Minister Moses Jn Baptiste said this week.

While this is certainly beneficial for them, the minister said with a doctor permanently stationed at the Facility, the Owen King European Hospital will be under less pressure.

Additionally, Jn Baptiste said, citizens will be protected from situations that may endanger them.

“Last week we delivered many pieces of equipment and different supplies to the medical center at the Bordelais Correctional Facility and of course I was asked by many individuals to explain why would the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs provide medical supplies to Bordelais. For the first time we have a doctor who is permanently stationed at the Facility. What does that mean and why is that important? It’s important because if we have a well-established medical center at the Bordelais Correctional Facility you can well imagine there will be less pressure on the OKEU Hospital,” Jn Baptiste told reporters.

According to him, “when you transfer inmates from Bordelais to OKEU or St Jude Hospital for medical care you must have security in place; you must have all kinds of arrangements and all these things create pressure on the state.”

He said that “especially with what we see happening… you do not want to transfer patients , some of them are high risk, from Bordelais to medical facilities and also put our public in possible danger. What we are doing together with the Ministry of Justice, the Prime Minister and Minister Virginia Albert-Poyotte is to ensure that the medical center at Bordelais is well equipped.”

Overtime, he indicated, the Facility will be raised to the level of a polyclinic and will be even more beneficial to prisoners.

“Not just inmates. I’m informed by the doctor that there have been situations where people who come to visit inmates fall sick and they have been able to get service. This is another step in the right direction for our government and I wish to congratulate the Prime Minister, Minister Virginia Albert-Poyotte, the Public Service Ministry and all those who are working to ensure that the medical facility at Bordelais is well stocked and well equipped,” Jn Baptiste said.

“It’s very important that Bordelais continues to be self-sustaining so that even medical issues that are semi-complex can be dealt with at the Facility,” he added.

Healthcare in prison is often very limited and this is due to the fact that there are often fewer resources in prison, stated in an article published in March of 2023.

That article entitled ‘The Importance of Medical Care in Correctional Facilities’ also pointed out that this can lead to serious health problems for prisoners later down the road.

Additionally, ( pointed out), health care in prison is not just a moral imperative, it’s also an economic one.

But “prison health is vital to overall public health,” author Elita Torres noted, adding that the prevalence of severe, often life-threatening conditions is high in prison populations.

“Prisoners often return to the community with untreated diseases and conditions which can threaten the health of their neighbours,” Torres stated.

Thus, prisoners “must have healthcare equal” to the community, she said.

A BCF employee who wished to remain anonymous said that having a doctor on hand at BCF only makes sense.

According to that employee, it saves officers time and energy. The employee also supported the minister’s statements.

“We have a population of over 500 inmates. It’s necessary to have a doctor/medical staff at the Facility. The doctor is a trained professional and it is beneficial to us to have him right there at the Facility as it saves us time and energy in terms of manpower and fuel. It also  reduces cross-contamination,” the source said.

The doctor has been stationed at BCF since 2023, according to the employee.

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