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Prison Medical Care Poor, Costly

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Senators say health care costs at California´s prisons have nearly doubled in five years even as inmates die at the hands of unqualified doctors.

California should follow the federal model, which has cut costs for each inmate despite rising medical costs, senators said today during the latest probe into the problem-plagued youth and adult prison system.

Taxpayers will spend a billion dollars this year to provide health services to the 164,000 inmates in the largest state prison system.

It´s the fastest growing part of the state´s annual 6 billion prisons budget.

For all that money, inmates receive poor care often by doctors untrained for the positions they hold – 20 percent of whom have malpractice or disciplinary problems.