Making an appointment to see a doctor or a nurse can be difficult if you're not part of the system, even in Canada where medical care is supposed to be available to all Canadians. People fall through the cracks, particularly the homeless who may be unable to obtain a health insurance card. With no address, it seems like you don't exist and the resources available to you are few and far between.
Dedicated healthcare professionals have been trying to provide care to the homeless and in Montreal, the ability to offer care on the streets has just gone up a notch. Doctors of the World Canada has just launched its first free mobile clinic and they chose Montreal for this initiative. The organization already had nurses on the streets, but the nurses were limited to what they could carry in their backpack and they were literally giving care on the sidewalks. The new van has a consultation and a treatment room, allowing the nurses to provide care in privacy.
"Doctors of the World's mobile clinic will enable us to make healthcare more accessible since we'll be able to go where the needs are and reach out to the most marginalized Montrealers," explained Dr. Nicolas Bergeron, in a release. "In addition to providing basic care, the mobile clinic will make it easier to integrate excluded populations into the public health and social services network." Bergeron is president of Doctors of the World Canada.
You can read more about the mobile clinic in their press release. This won't solve all the problems of those who are living on the streets, but it does give them an option for health care and perhaps the extra help they need to move forward.