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Penelope

Penelope Abbott

Year of Award: 2018 Award State: New South Wales Health And Medicine > General
Legal > Penal And Parole
To research access to primary health care for people in contact with the criminal justice system - USA, Canada
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Recommendations:

1. Create a more capable workforce through medical education
• Ensure medical education includes
a. core teaching on the social determinants of health and the health and social inequities faced by people involved in the justice system
b. clinical placements where high quality management of substance use disorders is practiced
c. enhancement opportunities for students and junior doctors with interest in health inequality and correctional health
• Create opportunities for ‘eye opening moments’ in medical education, including through clinical and service learning placements in underserved communities and correctional health settings.

2. Increase the capacity of primary care to work with underserved populations
• Support Australian general practice to provide enhanced team care, utilising larger teams with roles in coordination of care and patient support.
• Enhance general practice screening for problematic drug use
• Embed consideration of the social determinants of health into Australian general practice – ‘screen and intervene’
• Ensure that adequate and appropriate community services are in place to assist people with social support needs

3. Improve the management of substance use disorders in general practice
• Build the capacity of Australian general practice to treat opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders through (a) promoting recognition that these are chronic diseases within the scope of general practice; and (b) resourcing suitable teams
• Implement systems to prepare and mentor general practices as they commence treatment of opioid use disorder
• Support general practice through timely and integrated support from specialist addiction services and pain management services
• Uphold the rights of people with substance use disorders to equivalent healthcare

4. Improve linkage for people leaving prison into general practice.
• Promote general practice as the right place for people leaving prison to receive the care they need
• Enhance prison health service capacity to ensure continuity of care and general practice linkage when people leave prison
• Increase the capacity of general practice to assist recently released people 

5. Learning from the opioid overdose crisis in the US and Canada
• Promote the accessibility of naloxone and Medication Assisted Treatment
• Ensure that drug rehabilitation programs offer both Medication Assisted Treatment and behavioural therapy for people with opioid use disorder


Keywords: Primary healthcare, physicians, substance-related disorders, opioids, medical education, social determinants of health, social support, prisoner, prisons, continuity of care

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