The Latest: Doctor says prison health care often inadequate
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on hearing in a lawsuit over the quality of health care in Arizona’s prisons (all times local):
A doctor who worked at an Arizona prison says the state’s health care system for inmates is often inadequate in responding to the urgent needs of patients.
Dr. Jan Watson is a key witness in a lawsuit over the quality of health care for inmates.
She testified in a dispute over whether the state’s inmate care provider skirted changes the state agreed when it settled the lawsuit.
The hearing was prompted by an email from a Corizon Health employee who asked Watson to cancel infection-disease consultations for an inmate because the company didn’t have a provider.
Watson says a corrections employee offered what the doctor believed were tips for making their compliance data look better than they actually were.
A judge is examining whether the state’s inmate-care provider denied care to avoid paying a fine. The hearing Tuesday follows a lawsuit settlement that challenged the quality of health care in Arizona’s prisons.
The hearing stems from an email by a Corizon Health employee who asked a doctor to cancel infection-disease consultations for an inmate because the company didn’t have a provider to send him to.
U.S. Magistrate David Duncan has said the comments looked like an end-run around efforts to ensure the state is making the improvements it promised when it settled the lawsuit.
Another hearing is scheduled Wednesday over whether Corrections Director Charles Ryan should be held in civil contempt of court for repeatedly falling short in improving health care for prisoners.