Galveston County Attorney Harvey Bazaman said Correctional Medical Services had done an adequate job, but county officials wanted to see if there were financial savings to be had by putting the contract out for bid.Dallas County just ditched UTMB as their healthcare provider after a federal investigation found major shortcomings, including failing to treat mental health issues and numerous inmates who “routinely miss doses of life-sustaining medications.” (See the Dallas Observer's coverage.) For every month you spend in the Dallas County jail, you're more likely to acquire a staph infection than you would be to roll snake eyes playing dice.
County officials project that they’ll save nearly $250,000 a year by awarding the contract to the medical branch, Bazaman said, adding that five organizations competed for the contract.
At Texas prisons, UTMB officials told the Sunset Advisory Commission last fall that they're "very close" to no longer providing a constitutional level of care because they lowball budgets, but Galveston County CHOSE them because of their low bid.
One lawsuit will more than make up for any savings from the contract. This seems like asking for trouble, doesn't it?