TWO-thirds of Cork prison’s inmates are on prescription drugs.
That’s according to figures supplied by the Irish Prison Service through the Freedom of Information Act.
At the end of last month, there were 195 inmates who were receiving prescribed medication for a wide range of conditions.
The capacity of the prison is 296 prisoners.
The IPS would not reveal the medications being prescribed for inmates because “individual healthcare records are personal information subject to medical confidentiality.”
A spokeswoman for the IPS said it was not possible to establish the cost of the medication.
She said: “The Irish Prison Service can advise you that the total cost of providing prescription drugs to Cork Prison includes the aggregate value of prescription and stock medicines, and it cannot, therefore, set out the cost of prescription medicines only.”
She added: “Medication is administered to persons in custody as prescribed, and under the terms of agreed IPS protocols.
“Such medication can be administered under direct supervision or, subject to comprehensive risk assessment, can be supplied to a person to hold in possession.”
Meanwhile, the recently-appointed director general of the IPS, Caron McCaffrey, has announced a healthcare needs assessment for the IPS.
She told the Public Accounts Committee that the assessment is being done in conjunction with the Department of Health, and the Health Service Executive.
She added that it will look at areas including what the appropriate medical staffing should be for the prisons and what types of health services should be provided to inmates.
She added: “That review is scheduled to take place this year and we have been awaiting the appointment of the executive clinical lead to do that.”