Minister Emma Davidson addresses Auditor-General’s report on Alexander Maconochie Center | The Canberra Times

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Justice Health Minister Emma Davidson has not ruled out a royal commission into the Alexander Maconochie Centre, following a recent damning Auditor-General’s report. However, the minister wanted to start a dialogue with Indigenous people and was “really positive” changes would be implemented soon. The report released on Wednesday found prisoners in the ACT’s jail with most mental health conditions do not receive adequate treatment due to a shortage of psychologists, with the delivery of mental health services and screenings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees ineffective. The audit found there had been no strategic planning for the delivery of mental health services at the prison and planning was limited by poor data collection. The Justice Health Minister argued the record keeping and data issues were result of logistics in the jail. “Providing health services inside a place like the [jail] is logistically quite different to providing health services in say, your local GP clinic out in the community,” she told ABC radio. “There’s a whole lot of differences in the layout of the physical space and in the way in which people need to work through those spaces. “I wouldn’t say that the record keeping is poor but we’re always looking to improve it.” Auditor-General Michael Harris made 19 recommendations, including that Canberra Health Services should develop a clinical services plan for mental health services delivery in the prison, in conjunction with ACT Health. READ ALSO: Ms Davidson said the department had already started work on a justice health strategy and planned on implementing a digital health record by the end of the year. In addition, she said a recent budget had provided additional funding to employ more psychologists and nurses at the centre. “There’s been a lot of recommendations for years from a lot of reports. And there’s certainly some things that we can be putting in place,” Ms Davidson said. “What I’d like to do is to sit down [and] have a conversation about how we make those things work right now.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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