Forty per cent of people did not visit a family doctor after being released from prison, finds study analyzing 2010 Ontario data

Oct 15, 2019
Author: 
Jennifer Stranges

About 60 per cent of people who were in Ontario’s prison system were seen by a family doctor in the two years after being released from prison compared to 85 per cent of people in the general population, according to a new study published today in Canadian Family Physician.

The researchers analyzed the experiences of people released from provincial prison in Ontario in 2010, and measured their health care visits two years prior to admission into prison and two years after release. Rates of being seen by a family doctor were only slightly higher after prison release than before admission to prison.

The study, co-authored by St. Michael’s Hospital and ICES researchers and led by McMaster University’s Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian, also found that those released from provincial prison were more likely to come from low income neighbourhoods and have a significantly higher prevalence of almost all health conditions examined, including asthma, diabetes, and mental health conditions.

“We found that people in prison were more likely to have chronic health conditions, yet they were less likely to be seen by a family doctor who could help them manage their health,” said Dr. Tara Kiran, one of the authors of the study, who is also a family physician and an associate scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s.

Continue reading on St. Michael's Hospital's website.