Improving Healthcare for the Homeless

Introduction

Homeless people rely on facilities that serve the poor to obtain healthcare services. There exist various barriers that make it difficult for homeless people to get healthcare. The lack of homes is the most crucial factor as it renders them more susceptible to chronic diseases and makes it harder to treat them. Below are some of the ways to help eliminate the challenges.  

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Research indicates that communication is among the four common elements that can help alleviate the challenges. Frequent interaction between people and agencies involved in healthcare provision for homeless people would help share ideas (NCBI., 1988). Coordination between providers and clients would also be crucial in linking the sick with existing services. Thirdly, providers should approach the target in the streets through outreach programs instead of waiting for them to go for treatment. Lastly, internal resources like generous funding, volunteers, donated goods, and paid employees are also essential.

Furthermore, the homeless should be accorded medical respite where individuals who are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital but too weak for streets can be placed (NCBI., 1988). Besides, society should consider providing stable housing for the homeless where they can safely store the drugs and obtain regular meals since medication requires proper eating. Researchers recommend the provision of specialized homeless general practice to ensure the availability of professionals experienced in handling multimorbidities and cases like physical, mental, and dependency issues. Proper assessment of the patients is necessary as it helps to understand what they are suffering from, including that which they may not be aware of. It is also important that healthcare workers show compassionate and empathy to the patients as it lifts their spirits and thus impacts the health of individuals positively.

More strategies for dealing with challenges include prevention, early intervention, and continuity of healthcare.  

Reference

NCBI. (1988). Health Care Services for Homeless People – Homelessness, Health, and Human Needs – NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218235

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