Prison inmates slam health care
COMPLAINTS lodged against Ipswich health care providers doubled last year and prisoners at Wacol, upset about their medical care, are driving the surge.
Figures released in a Health Quality and Complaints Commission report revealed 257 complaints were made against Ipswich health care providers in 2012-13, up from 128 last year.
The biggest increase came at correctional facilities, with complaints from prisoners rising from 21 to 129.
The report attributed the dramatic increase to greater awareness among detainees of their ability to make complaints via a free telephone service provided in correctional centres.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service assumed responsibility for the general health services in the Wacol public correctional facilities in July 2012.
A WMHHS spokesperson said medical professionals are based within prisons, with inmates getting the best possible medical care.
WMHHS provide medical care for prisoners at correctional service facilities at Wacol.
Mental Health and Specialised Services executive director Sharon Kelly said she was confident the care provided to prisoners within the correctional facilities is of a high standard and appropriate for their clinical needs.
"A robust and comprehensive complaints system is in place that supports easy access for each prisoner to complaints mechanisms that include the HQCC," she said
"Each complaint that is submitted is investigated and addressed within the service. The rise in complaints will be monitored over the next 12 months."
Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said the prisoners' complaints were not the most pressing of his concerns.
"I'm sure they are all legitimate but my concern is about the people going to the hospital from our community," he said.
"It's never good to get complaints but I've been really impressed with the board."
The report revealed complaints against public hospitals within Ipswich dropped from 51 to 41.
Medical practitioners received the most complaints about health care providers with 39, followed by dentists with five.