Dr. On Wheels By: Sarah, Nelson, Marikate, & Katie

Mission Statement: Our goal is to help all homeless people receive proper medical treatment to improve their overall well-being and health, as well as to ensure that they receive all necessary and proper antibiotics and vaccinations, as well as proper treatments and such.

Problem: So many homeless people have no health care, no dental care, and no access to medications, antibiotics, vaccinations, treatments, wound care, and much more. When they get sick, they have no money to go to a hospital or to go see a doctor to get medication to surpass the ailment. They live in such horrific conditions to begin with and that contributes to them being in poor health conditions. Since they do not have healthcare and they cannot afford it, their health continues to deteriorate more and more, which eventually may result in death or future medical disadvantages.

This homeless person is in need of serious physical healthcare. His legs are all bent and twisted up. They are broken and he needs to see a doctor to receive a cast, along with physical therapy. Dr. On Wheels will make sure that any homeless person with a physical disability will see the proper doctors and specialists to ensure that they get the proper treatment in order to move physically.

Why the lack of healthcare for the homeless needs attention: According to The National Coalition for the Homeless, "Homeless people are three to six times more likely to become ill than housed people (National Health Care for the Homeless Council, 2008). Homelessness precludes good nutrition, good personal hygiene, and basic first aid, adding to the complex health needs of homeless people. Additionally, conditions which require regular, uninterrupted treatment, such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, are extremely difficult to treat or control among those without adequate housing" (NCFTH 1). Homeless people have no money to provide themselves with medical care and treatment. When they get sick, they have no way to get to a hospital or a doctor because no one will accept them without any insurance. They will simply just get denied and they will have to suffer through their sickness until it eventually surpasses or they suffer through it more as the severity of their condition worsens. If they continue to let a small sickness go on, then it can eventually worsen over time and that can lead to serious complications or even death. By not getting treatment, they simply are being neglected of good nutrition and health. Living unhealthy while being homeless only gets worse with the seasonal changes. Living in the winter months on the streets makes you prone to getting sick and you will keep getting sicker and sicker if you are not treating it. By just letting their health continue to deteriorate, they can completely ruin their life and their future. Their sickness could prevent them from ever getting a job or even from living a normal lifestyle. Without healthcare, one of the most important aspects of the key to life is neglected. Good health is the key thing that keeps your heart beating and without it, you will die.

Our plan to help the homeless: We plan on helping the homeless receive medical care and treatment that they need. We will design a bus designated to helping only the homeless and the bus will cruise around the streets looking for homeless people to provide checkups and care. The bus will contain multiple certified doctors and nurses. The bus will be sterilized and clean and there will be beds for the homeless to lay down and rest on. The bus will have bathrooms with showers to help the homeless keep up with personal hygiene. There will be spare blankets and clothes for the homeless if they are in need of them. The bus will contain the typical equipment that is needed for care, such as band-aids, rubbing alcohol, gauze, cotton balls, ointment, and everything else along those lines to treat wounds. Other supplies will include vaccinations, antibiotics, and over-the-counter medicine. The doctors will perform a typical checkup as if in a "real" hospital or doctor's office. Blood tests and stitches can be performed on the bus as well, but X-Rays and physical therapy will be provided at a different hospital, which will once again be free of cost. There will be a variety of doctors on the bus that can treat different patients of many ages with different medical problems such as pediatricians, gynecologists, and many other different specialized doctors. If a certain doctor is needed, then they will be called in to help treat the patient. The doctors will provide regular exams and will administer antibiotics, vaccinations, vitamins, and wound care needed by the patients. The homeless will not be charged at all and if the homeless need serious medical care, such as a trip to the emergency room or the hospital, then they will be escorted by the bus and all medical expenses will be free of charge. After being released from the bus, the doctors and nurses will come and check up on them frequently to make sure that they are in the healthiest condition possible.

This homeless man is sick and he needs medical attention, but he cannot afford it. There is no where for him to go and nothing for him to do to get better. The people walking by ignore him and neglect his cries for help. He needs a doctor, but without insurance, he is forced to suffer. With Dr. On Wheels, it will end the suffering of sick homeless people and they will receive the treatment that they need in order to stay well.

Statistics: According to ACOG, "Lack of access to health care is a profound issue for the homeless population, with 73% of homeless individuals reporting at least one unmet health need, including medical, surgical, mental health, vision, or dental care or unmet prescription drugs" (ACOG 1). According to ACOG, "Homeless women are at a higher risk of injury and illness and are less likely to obtain needed health care than women who are not homeless" (ACOG 1). Homeless women are affected more than homeless men. They are at higher risks for health problems compared to homeless men. A huge majority of the homeless population is in need of some sort of medical attention. Without healthcare, their medical problems go unnoticed and will continue to worsen over time.

Sites to find more info: Follow this link to find out more information about how homelessness is a complicating factor to your health and the dangers you face being homeless without healthcare: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218236/. Follow this other link in order to get more information on how health care and homelessness are tied together: http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/Health-Care-for-Homeless-Women.

Works Cited:  Women's Health Care Physicians." Health Care for Homeless Women - ACOG. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

"Health Care and Homelessness." National Coalition for the Homeless. National Coalition for the Homeless, July 2009. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

Credits:

Created with images by WerbeFabrik - "stethoscope doctor medical" • Transformer18 - "Tired @ Bangkok" • Leroy_Skalstad - "people homeless male" • Transformer18 - "DSC_7846"

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