Healthy Pathways co-ordinator Susie Lawless (left) and
project manager Catherine Daly-Reeve hope the pilot may be
the start of a permanent programme. Photo by Linda
More than half the newly released prisoners in a health
pilot were still enrolled with a GP six months after it ended,
exceeding the expectation of programme co-ordinator Susie
Dr Lawless, an Amity Health Centre GP, yesterday released an
evaluation report of the six-month Healthy Pathways
programme, which offered prisoners released from Otago
Corrections Facility two free GP visits, free prescriptions,
and other support.
Co-written with project manager Catherine Daly-Reeve, the
report said the best uptake was seen among Pakeha patients,
and of the participating Dunedin GP practices, Servants
Health Centre was the most successful in ensuring patient
Servants, whose services are free to all patients, was
accustomed to dealing with ''disadvantaged'' people, and had
an inclusive and non-judgemental philosophy. The pair are to
present the findings to the Southern Primary Health
Organisation, with the hope of seeing the introduction of a
Of the 62 eligible participants, 58% attended at least one
free GP visit. Six months later, 32 of the patients were
still enrolled with a GP, and 31 continued to attend the GP.
Twelve patients had been reincarcerated.
''It became clear there is a need for a more holistic
programme encompassing areas outside health, such as
literacy, employment, and housing.''
The programme used funds left over by the former Well Dunedin
Primary Health Organisation.
It concluded at the end of last year, with the six-month
follow-up in the middle of this year.