Jail cancels doctors’ clinics

Last week, Kevin Kolias was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The 42-year-old Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmate immediately filled out a request form…

Last week, Kevin Kolias was diagnosed with hepatitis C.

The 42-year-old Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmate immediately filled out a request form to see a doctor.

He received a written response stating there was no doctor available, he said.

The jail has two doctors on staff who take turns visiting the jail once a week, said Justice spokesman Chris Beacom.

But last week the doctors’ clinic was cancelled.

“It was cancelled because we didn’t have enough nurses — not because we didn’t have enough doctors,” said Beacom.

The doctors’ weekly clinic at the jail will be cancelled again this week, according to a nursing schedule received from the Justice department.

“We’re short-staffed,” said Beacom.

The jail should have two full-time nurses and two auxiliaries, he said.

“There should be a nurse on duty weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the two auxiliaries who work four-hour shifts on the weekends.”

Currently there are only two nurses on staff and neither are fulltime.

Last weekend there was no nurse at the jail.

According to the two-week schedule provided by the department, the jail was also left without a nurse on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“So no Dr.’s day again, but for the last time,” said a note on the schedule.

There will also be no nurses at the jail October 6 through 8th, 11th, 13th and 14th.

“We are looking internally through human resources for more nurses,” said Beacom.

 “There’s no health care up here,” said Kolias.

Before he can start treatment for his hepatitis C, Kolias needs to see a doctor for genome testing.

There are two types of medication, depending on the type of hepatitis C, he said.

One treatment takes 50 to 60 weeks and the other takes about 25 weeks.

“I want it dealt with as soon as possible,” said Kolias.

“But I need to see a doctor first.”

Kolias, whose tooth broke several months ago, has also been trying to see a dentist.

“And nothing has been done,” he said.

“We have a hard time getting any medical or dental,” said inmate Donna MacFarlane.

For the last four months, the 36-year-old has been trying to see a dentist.

“My front tooth is falling out,” said MacFarlane.

“It wiggles so bad and every time I chomp down it pushes forward.

“It hurts like hell.

“I’m at the point where I want to just pull the thing.”

The jail lost its dentist May 9th.

“The issue hasn’t been resolved,” said Beacom.

MacFarlane has also been on a wait list to see a doctor.

“But I’ve seen nobody,” she said.

“And they’re having a hell of a time with the nurses.

“There’s no real health care up here at all.”

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