A substantial amount of medical equipment at the department's correctional facilities is in poor or unusable working condition. Some of this equipment has been in use for eighteen to twenty years. Furthermore, the amount of medical equipment purchased has not kept pace with the growing inmate population. Though the department has had some success acquiring used equipment from state and federal surplus, these sources have limited supplies and cannot meet the overall need.
This request includes replacement items for broken equipment as well as equipment necessary to upgrade institutional infirmaries in order to reduce the number of referrals to Reception & Medical Center (RMC) and local hospitals. In 2007, the department conducted a review of all infirmaries in Regions I, II, and III. In most cases, the infirmaries were being underutilized because they did not have basic medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, IV pumps and poles, nebulizers, portable exam lights, and portable suction machines. This has resulted in more costly referrals to hospitals and other specialty centers.
Also included in this request is $33,120 for a prescription barcode scanner system for twenty-four facilities in Regions I, II, and III. This system would enable the department's pharmacy staff to fill prescriptions more rapidly and efficiently.
The department requests $802,944 for Other Capital Outlay equipment and $16,140 for Expenses items.