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Mobile Health Clinic Montreal

39 years

life expectancy of homeless people in Canada

3,000+

people living in chronic homelessness in Montreal

10%

of homeless people are aboriginal

The situation

In Canada, there are no reliable statistics on the size of the homeless population.

 

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat estimates that homelessness affects about 150,000 people, but other sources say it is closer to 300,000. Being homeless affects different people for different reasons. What they have in common however, is being forgotten, ignored, abandoned or excluded from society. Deeply affected by the turn their lives have taken, they lack the instinct, reflex, confidence or will to get medical care. They range from youth living on the streets and homeless people, to those at risk of becoming homeless, drug users, sex workers, and uprooted Aboriginal people. They all have different, often difficult, pasts filled with substance abuse, violence, homelessness, loneliness, and displacement.

Our action

Since 1999, the outreach nurses at Doctors of the World have been working in Montreal with dedicated community organization to reach people in need, wherever they are.

 

Since 2014, they have cared for them on board the Doctors of the World Mobile Health Clinic. This innovative clinic is a flexible solution that can reach homeless people in the streets, parks, shelters or other more discreet areas. The Mobile Health Clinic provides safe and dignified medical care, right from the van.

 

The people we encounter do not visit health clinics, particularly First Nations and Inuit people living in urban settings. They tend to be less likely to turn to state-run institutions since they feel the services are not adapted to their needs and often make them feel unwelcome. Many of them suffer from drug and alcohol abuse, health issues related to their life on the streets, as well as mental health problems. They often engage in risky behaviours resulting in sexually transmitted diseases and blood-borne infections.

 

The Mobile Health Clinic helps to bridge the gap between completely disenfranchised people and the Health and Social Services network. The goal is always to reach people who need healthcare in neighbourhoods where government-run outreach programs do not go. Together with the various Health and Social Services teams and community organisations who provide services for the homeless community, our efforts target people in need of medical and social care in order to reintegrate them into the public health system.

 

During 2018, a mobile health clinic will be hitting the streets of Victoria, British Columbia.

Our Impact

Since 1999, we have:
  • REFERED MORE THAN
    4,000 PEOPLE
    THROUGH THE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
  • PERFORMED MORE THAN
    15,000
    TESTS FOR HIV, HEPATITIS AND OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
  • ADMINISTERED MORE THAN
    4, 000
    VACCINES AGAINST HEPATITIS A AND B
  • GIVEN MORE THAN
    35,000
    MEDICAL CONSULTATIONS AND CARE
In 2016:
  • 2,436
    PEOPLE RECEIVED SERVICES FROM THE MOBILE CLINIC
  • 931
    NEW PEOPLE RECEIVED CONSULTATIONS
  • 975
    CONSULTED A NURSE, AND OF THOSE, 195 WERE FIRST NATIONS AND 71 WERE INUIT
  • 123
    CONSULTED WITH A PHYSICIAN
  • 375
    PEOPLE HAD ONLY BEEN SEEN ONCE AT THE MOBILE CLINIC AND WERE REDIRECTED TO RSSS

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