Medical Mayhem In Florida's Prisons
Sub-standard to outright negligent medical care is what is provided to prisoners in Florida. Lawmakers and prisoncrats do not want the public to know the number of prisoners executed by means of medical neglect and incompetence each year. An alarming number of FDOC doctors have shady backgrounds that prevent them from working anywhere except in a prison system like the FDOC's, where saving money has always taken precedence over saving prisoners lives and providing them with quality health care.
This knowledge would hurt the "Throw The Book At Them" campaign that brings political contributions and votes from their co-conspirators like the Florida Police Benevolent Association (FPBA) and it's members, and an uninformed citizenry. Many other votes are produced by special interest groups who benefit directly from the distribution of wealth created by the prison industry in Florida.From personal experience I can say that Florida prisoners are subjected daily to less than acceptable treatment for medical problems, by the unqualified doctors (i.e. Sanford "Sandy" Epstein, Chief Medical Officer for Santa Rosa CI) who can't get or keep a job or hold onto patients in the free world.Prisoners are given a death sentence through the medical indifference and neglect of their keepers, Michael Moore and staff. Prisoners are treated for medical conditions only if it is time and cost efficient, and only if it won't cause a lot of work for the medical staff.This is something Dr. "Sandy" Epstein and staff are infamous for, especially when it comes to prisoners confined in the CM units, and the other confinement units at the prison.A prisoner's ability to cover the co-pay charges assessed by the FDOC also plays heavily into who will and will not receive medical attention. I've also experienced this problem at more institutions than I care to remember, but Santa Rosa CI was the worst.Statutory and administrative rules say prisoners are to be given medical and dental care by "professional staff", comparable to the standards citizens in the free world are entitled to. Another set of standards is set forth by the medical accrediting agencies, such as the American Correctional Association (a pro-prison group who accreditation means absolutely nothing), and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care.The FDOC has its own rules stating that the state prisoners are entitled to proper and meaningful medical services. Seldom are any of these standards or rules upheld by those that provide medical care or that supervise the health care providers.Medical professionals are also governed by a higher standard than that set forth by the FDOC. Each professional - doctors, nurses, psychiatrist, and dental staff - must be licensed by the state they are working in. State boards are there to ensure that the professionals maintain a certain level of care to all patients they treat, ands to investigate complaints.If a loved one or someone else you know is being refused treatment or given ineffective treatment, it may be time to find out more about who's treating them. Licenses for medical staff are available to the general public for the asking. You can write to the licensing board for Florida and ask for information on current licenses status, medical credentials, and any disciplinary actions or malpractice/negligence complaints filed against the medical "professional" in question.
More complete information is available on the web.At the American Board of Medical Specialties Public Education Program www.certifieddoctor,org you can search for a doctor by name.Check the physicians Report Card www.healthgrades.com to find out if a doctor has had his or her license suspended because of poor performance or billing fraud (something Dr. Epstein was accused of). This site will also tell you if a doctor has been censured in another state."Doctor's Who's Who" http://doctorswhoswho.com/medical network provides links to 35 state licensing boards which have information online.The American Medical Association's website www.ama-assn.org/aps/physcred.html can tell you if the doctor is board certified, and give information his or her training.Licenses information for Florida medical professionals can be located at www.doh.state.fl.us. You can also file a public records request for information on medical staff by writing:Florida Board of MedicineCentral Records Unit4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin # C01Tallahassee, Fl 32399-3251You can request complaint forms and file complaints against medical staff by writing:State of Florida Agency For Health Care Administration2727 Mahan Drive Mail Stop #35Tallahassee, Fl 32308To retain copies of medical malpractice claims filed against a medical professional in Florida write to:Department of Insurance200 East Gaines Street, Suite 531Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0321or call 1-800-558-6488 or (850) 488-0595Discipline information on medical professionals can also be obtained by calling:1-888-419-3456The agency responsible for "monitoring" and "oversight" of FDOC health care providers is the State of Fla. Corr. Medical Authority (CMA):State Of Florida Correctional Medical Authority4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin B-04Tallahassee, Fl 32399-1732Ph#(850)245-4044Fax#(850)922-4923NOTE -- CMA is just another flunky agency that does as the FDOC and it's legislators needs it to so don't look for much help from their office although complaints should still be sent to them so that a paper trail is created.It is a good idea that every activist, friend and/or family member of a Florida prisoner arm yourself with this information because one day it may save the life of someone you care about and love.I am,Lakeith Amir-Sharif
Sharif's Comments on "Up In Arms"
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