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Florida's Prison Health Care Services To Be Fully Privatized By Mid-October

Florida Channel

The privatization of prison health care services in Florida is expected to be fully implemented by mid-October. The effort, projected to save the department millions of dollars, caused thousands of employees to lose their state jobs.

Speaking before a Senate Criminal Justice budget panel Wednesday, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews said the privatization effort is almost done. There’s only one facility left that needs to privatize its prison health care services.

“We intentionally made that institution our Reception and Medical Center, or RMC. That’s the institution that has our cancer unit, our dialysis unit. It is a massive mission at RMC. We were going to transfer it by itself. But, by October 13th, barring anything unforeseen, we will have fully privatized health care in the Florida Department of Corrections.

The effort has been a priority for the department for the past couple years, but the issue got tied up in court when unions sued on behalf of employees who did not want to lose their state jobs. Crews says his agency made sure all 3,000 employees received interviews with the two private management companies, Wexford and Corizon, chosen to run the prison health services and most employees were offered jobs.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.