The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tough talk on improving health care in California prisons

Today's NYTimes has a story about Robert Sillen, the court-appointed federal receiver chosen to overhaul health services in California prisons as the result of a class-action lawsuit. Sillen does not mince words with legislators in Sacramento and has no patience, for example, for political rhetoric about keeping felons off the street that elected officials must adopt.

He also dismisses the idea of setting goals and monitoring progress in health care improvement.
The Prison Law Office filed a complaint in federal court in June saying that Mr. Sillen’s plans have “no concrete details of how any of the goals or objectives are to be accomplished, no real timelines and no metrics.”

In an interview in his office in San Jose, Mr. Sillen dismissed the group’s assertions. “When people ask me how long and how much,” he said, “I have a stock answer: Long. Much.”
This, of course, is a mistake. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's just being contrary for the benefit of the media, but I'd be happy to help him with such a project.

The Receivership website is here.

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