Self-serve prison pharmacies as a cost-cutting measure for SB 562

by Paul Alan Piatt

As debate over Senate Bill 562 rages, proponents of universal health care coverage for all Californians are boldly moving forward with initiatives to test how different aspects of the legislation will affect residents of the state. Lt. Gov. Newsom announced Folsom State Prison as the test bed for one potential solution to overall program costs.

Prison_Drugs

A Folsom Prison guard displays a few of the pharmaceuticals that prisoners will be able to use under the “Physician-Free Initiative.” If the program reduces costs, officials say that prison phone operators could also become a thing of the past.

 

“I’m excited to announce Folsom State Prison has been selected as a test bed for what I like to call the ‘Physician-Free Initiative'”, declared Newsom on the steps of the main prison administration building. “This initiative is designed to give Californians the tools and resources necessary to take responsibility for their own treatment, eliminating the necessity of consulting with expensive health care professionals. After all, who knows your body and what you need better than you?”

According to a briefing packet provided to The SacBrie by the governor’s office, Folsom inmates will now be responsible for self-diagnosis and deciding the proper course of their own care. Aided by free advice available to them from PhysicianOnCall.com and WebDoctor.com, inmates will now perform minor medical procedures on themselves and take responsibility for prescribing proper medications.

“We’ve gone from needing four full-time staff members in the prison pharmacy to only needing a part-time night stock clerk,” stated Assistant Warden Lachlan Emupp. “Since we made the pharmacy self-serve, the prisoners are happier, violence throughout the facility has fallen, and we’ve seen a significant uptick in prison transfer requests into Folsom. All of these data points are indicators of success and we look forward to implementing this initiative throughout the rest of the state prison system, and perhaps the entire state.”

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