RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Healthcare for the Homeless

September 11, 20159 min
Why should policymakers care about linking health and housing?Even though you may not need to go to the doctor when you're feeling ill, at least you have that option. According to an article in Medpage Today, homeless people have three to six times the rate of chronic disease as non-homeless people.Policymakers are arguing that permanent supportive housing is crucial in order to help improve outcomes.Health providers mentioned in the article said that they see both sides of patient access; the person who might overly go to the doctor and hospital without cause, and the patient who might be coping with a mental health issue or have an addiction problem and avoids healthcare altogether.Some argue that health issues, specifically mental health problems, can lead to homelessness.How can we improve health outcomes in the homeless population?Director of policy for the National Health Care for the homeless Council, Barbara DiPetro, PhD, shares why policymakers care about linking health and housing.

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