Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


O’Connor clueless about medicine in prisons

Jackie Blue MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

8 October 2006

O’Connor clueless about medicine in prisons

It is clear from answers to parliamentary written questions that Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor has absolutely no idea about pharmaceutical usage in his prisons, says National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue.

"There were huge gaps in the information I received, and what little data was available was basic and disturbing,” says Dr Blue, spokeswoman on Pharmacare issues.

"The annual cost of prescription medicines in prisons has increased four-fold since 2000 – from $344,903 to $1,279,379 in 2006 – with the greatest increase evident over the past three years.

"But efforts to get information about the type of pharmaceuticals used and the pattern of use over these years has hit a brick wall.

"The percentage of penal inmates who use prescription medications has almost doubled, from 18% in 2001 to 32% in 2003.

"It is concerning that of those taking medication, the percentage of women increased from 2.6% in 2001 to 54.5% in 2003, while the percentage of men taking medication decreased from 97.4% in 2001 to 31.8% in 2003.

"The information about the intervening year (2002) and subsequent years (2003, 2004, 2005) was not forthcoming. I suspect it hadn't been collected.

"Damien O'Connor should be ashamed at the paucity of information on prison pharmaceutical use.

"Why has the cost of prescription medications increased four-fold over the past five years? Why are prisoners sicker? What are the main illnesses that are being treated? Why has the proportion of women inmates taking medication increased so dramatically?

"There are many disturbing unanswered questions."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Finding A Model To Replace The Monarchy

One feels reluctant to pre-empt the verdict of history, but maybe we need to have a Plan B in mind just in case the reign of King Charles III turns out badly. With that possibility in mind, are there any other countries that do a reasonably good job of electing their ceremonial head of state? There is no perfect model for New Zealand to follow but - arguably - Ireland has made a pretty good fist of it over the past 70 years or so. Ireland has roughly the same population as New Zealand, so the pool of talent is similar in size...

Alastair Thompson: Are There TPLF Ethiopia Insurgency Training & Support Operations in Uganda?

Mystery Document Alleges:
Covert Operation has US/Egypt Support
Operations Coordinated between South Sudan, TPLF and Uganda
Planning began December 2021...



Government: Welcomes Climate Change Commission Advice On Agricultural Pricing System
The Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system... More>>


Government: Action To Tackle Delays In Family Court
New legislation aimed at tackling delays in the family justice system, will help improve the wellbeing of thousands of children caught up in Family Court disputes every year, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says... More>>

Prime Minister: Chatham House Speech
What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years... More>>

Economy: Financial Statements Of The Government Of New Zealand
Please note the next Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand to be released will be for the full year ended 30 June 2022. It is anticipated that these will be released in early October 2022... More>>

Government: New Era For Better Health In Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government has today delivered a nationwide health system that will ensure better outcomes for all New Zealanders with the establishment of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand... More>>

Greens: Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin

After years of research and advocacy, Parliament will finally consider legislation to take meaningful action on alcohol harm, says the Greens... More>>




InfoPages News Channels