Sunday, July 21, 2024

‘Removing barriers’: Second mobile health clinic launched for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria

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Healthcare access just got a little bit better for those experiencing homelessness!

On Thursday, July 20th, TELUS Health and Victoria Cool Aid Society announced the release of a second Mobile Health Clinic, through TELUS’ Health for Good program—designed to bring everyone healthcare regardless of socio-economic status.

It’s described as a specially-equipped clinic on wheels with services that are adapted to the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the Greater Victoria area.

Individuals can access primary healthcare, access to birth control, specialized support services for sex workers, specialized addictions services, and more.

(Cool Aid Mobile Clinic / Photo by Tegan McMartin)

Additionally, partnered with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society, there will also be an Indigenous physician at two culturally supportive housing sites on a weekly basis for personalized and supportive care.

“Many individuals, including those who are under-housed or experiencing homelessness, have not had access to primary care in years or do not have a documented medical history that can be referenced by healthcare practitioners,” said said Mary Chudley, director of health and support services at Cool Aid.

With over 1,500 individuals experiencing homelessness in Victoria, Chudley is hopeful that this new health services van will ensure improved patient experience and allow for double the care capacity in addition to the existing mobile clinic.

(Cool Aid Mobile Clinic / Photo by Tegan McMartin)

Since the program launched in Victoria in 2020, it has recorded more than 14,000 patient encounters and serves 25 locations on a bi-weekly rotational basis.

“Through our longstanding partnership with the Victoria Cool Aid Society, we are continuing to remove many of the barriers facing underserved and marginalized populations in Victoria by providing access to primary healthcare, mental wellness and addiction support services,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer, TELUS.

(Cool Aid Mobile Clinic / Photo by Tegan McMartin)

Keep an eye out — you may see it around Victoria as it steadily assists the community and improves the overall healthcare services one patient at a time.

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