Problem-Plagued Calif. Medical Prison Remains Closed to Admissions
As of Friday, a court-appointed overseer of California's prison system had not yet set a date for the state's largest medical prison facility to resume admissions after it was plagued with problems since its opening last year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The $840 million California Health Care Facility in Stockton opened in July 2013 and was expected to provide care to more than 1,800 prisoners (St. John, Los Angeles Times, 4/12).
However, J. Clark Kelso, the court-appointed overseer, in February halted admissions to the facility after an inspection found unsanitary conditions and inadequate medical care for inmates.
A report on the facility found that it failed to provide sufficient hygiene and medical supplies to patient inmates.
In addition, the report noted that one patient had died from excessive bleeding after his calls to nurses were unanswered for more than 30 minutes.
The report also found that the facility was:
- Improperly managing its supply chain or keeping up with necessary medical supplies; and
- Understaffed in key administrative and clinical positions, including psychiatrists (California Healthline, 2/6).
Other problems at the facility included:
- Glitches in the facility's electronic health record system and warehouse inventory system; and
- Food being served that failed state health inspections.
Deborah Hoffman, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said some problems are unavoidable for new prison facilities, adding, "[I]t is taking time to work out the bugs."
Date To Resume Admissions Remains Unknown
In February, a CDCR spokesperson said the prison medical facility expected to "begin accepting additional patients in the very near future."
However, Kelso during a legislative hearing in March said the facility had failed to fix "really basic systems" that were not functioning properly (Los Angeles Times, 4/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.