Health Care Inequity Affecting The Incarcerated Canadian Population

2200 Words9 Pages
The objective of this paper is to examine issues of health care inequity affecting the incarcerated Canadian population. We will be investigating the impacts of these health issues on the indicated vulnerable group, assessing how services and resources are currently distributed to deal with this issue, proposing public health responses to address the issue and also identifying what further research must be conducted to gain a better understanding of the issue.
Introduction to and outline of issues
The Canadian constitution declares that all citizens have a right to health care. Although inmates are not covered by the Health Canada Act, incarcerated persons, are covered by the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, which states all
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For example, since 2005 there has a been a 3% decrease in the number of Caucasian offenders being admitted to facilities while simultaneously the number of aboriginals and blacks have increased by 47.4% and over 75% respectively. As a whole, the representation of aboriginals and blacks in the correctional system is 22.8% and 9.8% in contrast to 4.3% and 2.9% of the general population. (2) (3)

The incarcerated population are typically of low socioeconomic and low education levels. (4) Interestingly, low socioeconomic status and education levels on their own are directly linked with poor health. (5) When these social determinants of health are combined with prisonisation; the adaptation process in which incarcerated individuals adjust themselves to behavioural standards within the institutions which are not comparable with those of life outside prison.(6) This confines the already vulnerable to an environment of violence and drug use, which leads to further decline in health status while serving sentences. (1) In addition to the low socioeconomic status and education level of prison inmates, we can also establish that inmates are predominately male when compared to the
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