The Other Doctor Is In

Authority North Fraser Pretrial Centre

Brian, an inmate in a pretrial detention centre, did not agree with a prescription decision made by the pretrial centre doctor and asked for a second medical opinion. The pretrial centre denied Brian’s request: the doctor’s word was final. Brian said that when he complained to the Investigation and Standards Office, he was told they agreed with the centre.

Undeterred, Brian contacted us.

During an in person visit, centre officials told us they would not bring in a physician to provide a second medical opinion. In fact there was a detailed policy setting out the procedures for responding to requests from inmates for second medical opinions. Provincial policy allows inmates to be visited and interviewed by clinicians who are not on staff or retained by the Corrections Branch. The inmate who requests the visit or interview is responsible for any associated costs.

We asked the pretrial centre to give Brian this information and to remind staff that a process exists for inmates who want a second medical opinion.

The pretrial centre wrote to Brian explaining that the Health Care Services Manual does allow him to obtain a second medical opinion at his own expense and provided him with a copy of the policy. We were also shown an email sent to all corrections staff reminding them of the policy.

Satisfied that Brian had the information he needed and that staff were prepared to assist him and other inmates with similar requests, we closed our file.

Category Corrections, Health
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2015
Location The Lower Mainland