The EFPC Prison Health Working Group has published a new Position Paper in the official EFPC Journal Primary Health Care Research & Development (PHCR&D):
The health of detainees and the role of primary care: Position paper of the European Forum for Primary Care
Groenewegen, P., Dirkzwager, A., Van Dam, A., Massalimova, D., Sirdifield, C., & Smith, L. (2022). The health of detainees and the role of primary care: Position paper of the European Forum for Primary Care. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 23, E29. doi:10.1017/S1463423622000184
This position paper aims to increase awareness among primary care practitioners and policymakers about the specific and complex health needs of people who experience incarceration. We focus on the importance of primary care and of continuity of care between prison and community. We highlight what is known from the literature on the health of people who experience incarceration, on the organisation of prison health care, and on the role of primary care both during and after detention. We present three case descriptions of detainees’ encounters with the organisation of prison health care in three European countries. Finally, we describe the position that the European Forum for Primary Care takes. Prisoners and ex-prisoners have a worse physical and mental health compared with a cross-section of the population. However, access to good quality treatment and care is often worse than in the outside situation. In particular, well-organised primary care in the prison context could benefit prisoners and, indirectly, society at large. Moreover, continuity of care between the community and the prison situation needs improvement.