Homeless health

A third of our small hospital’s patients are homeless and thus can’t be discharged. It is costing $700 per day to keep them on the ward. One has been here over 6 months, that’s  over $100,000. It would be so much cheaper to put them up in a unit and have services coming in, and that’s what they want too.

Homeless peope have similar morbidity and mortality to aboriginal Australians. They tend to have mental disorders especially anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, and closed head injuries. They have extremely high stress levels and are subject to predators, increasingly people using ice, on the streets.

In our town we have no access to accommodation for palliative or chronically ill homeless people and apparently ‘upstairs’ Health doesn’t talk to Housing. If they did we could house these people and provide services and Health could pay and come out streets in front. Any other rural areas , or anyone else at all actually, having this problem?

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