The CFPC's position on the treatment and health care of incarcerated populations

February 27, 2017

(February 27, 2017, Mississauga, ON) The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) released two position statements on the treatment and health care of incarcerated persons in Canadian correctional facilities. The CFPC and its Prison Health Program Committee advocate for the best health outcomes and equitable health care services for all prisoners in Canada. The health care standards set in Canadian prisons should be equivalent to the standards established for all Canadians.

The CFPC’s position on solitary confinement supports the ending of this practice in Canadian correctional institutions. The recommendations support: abolishing solitary confinement for those prisoners who suffer from medical conditions or mental illness; abolishing solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons; and having medical staff assess the health of persons in solitary confinement on a daily basis. The position statement also calls for the use of mitigation strategies to ensure that the health needs of incarcerated persons in solitary confinement are met comprehensively until such time as the practice of solitary confinement is eliminated.

The CFPC’s position on health care delivery in correctional institutions rests on the principle that this  responsibility should be transferred from the provincial/territorial ministries of justice to the provincial/territorial ministries of health. Currently, only Alberta and Nova Scotia have transferred this responsibility to their respective ministries of health. The position statement also recommends that the responsibility for delivery of medical and mental health care services in federal correctional facilities should be completely separated from the federal ministry of public safety.

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada
The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) represents more than 35,000 members across the country. It is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training and certification of family physicians. The CFPC reviews and accredits continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements and lifelong learning interests. It also accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. The College provides quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine.


Susan Monic
Manager, Communication Services
College of Family Physicians of Canada
905-629-0900 ext. 432
[email protected]

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