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Medical Program
Medical Program
ODOC Health Services is responsible for providing medical care to over 14,000 inmates across the State, incarcerated within the 14 institutions of the Oregon Department of Corrections State Prison system. The State has a moral and legal obligation to provide health care for those people whom it incarcerates. The Federal Courts have mandated that inmates, though incarcerated, remain entitled to basic medical care.  These inmates enter the system with a lower than average educational level, lower than average income, and a higher than average rate of illness and chronic disease. At least 12% have heart disease or respiratory disease; 23% have moderate or severe mental health problems; and up to 70% report alcohol or drug problems. In addition they often have had poor prior medical care.
In Health Services we see medical problems similar to any that exist in the outside community, ranging from major to minor problems, acute illnesses or injuries to ongoing care for chronic diseases, preventative health care to end-of-life care. The nursing staff engages in over one thousand patient care contacts each day statewide and the Physician/Family Nurse Practitioner/ Physician’s Assistant staff provides more than 250 on-site primary care appointments each day. We have 5 institutions with onsite infirmaries with approximately 76 infirmary beds. ODOC Health Services provides extensive primary care onsite and also provides appointments in the community with specialists such as cardiologists, surgeons, and gastroenterologists as needed. ODOC Health Services also provides hospitalization in the community hospitals when necessary. This health care is provided at a cost per inmate per month, which is lower than any other comparable insurance program in Oregon including the Oregon Health Plan. Health care coverage is prioritized by medical relevance and need in a ranking system similar to the Oregon Health Plan.
All of our health care programs have passed accreditation standards set by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and are currently accredited. One of our institutions won the national “Facility of the Year” award for health care in 1994; our hospice program won the “National Program of the Year” award in 2000; and we maintain the same high standard of professionalism and quality health care throughout all of our institutions.