If you are a vulnerable person who is not always able to make it to a brick and mortar clinic in Brampton, Mississauga or Caledon, you might be relieved to hear that a mobile health clinic is launching in the Region of Peel.
Recently, Canadian telecommunications company TELUS announced that it will expand its Health for GoodTM program with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)–Peel Dufferin Branch.
The program features a specially-equipped clinic on wheels that can provide essential primary medical care, mental health care and addiction supports directly to underserved and vulnerable (such as homeless) residents in the region.
TELUS says estimates show that 235,000 individuals experience homelessness in Canada in a given year and that mobile health services help those who cannot easily access traditional medical care, yet are in urgent need.
“At TELUS, the core of our passionate social purpose is our commitment to enabling better outcomes for our fellow Canadians,” said Jill Schnarr, vice president, Corporate Citizenship at TELUS, in a statement.
“We believe that everyone should have access to healthcare when and where they need it regardless of their socio-economic status, which is why we have committed $10 million to expand our TELUS Health for Good program to communities across Canada over the next five years. We are proud and excited to provide these much-needed services to Peel Region alongside our dedicated partner, CMHA Peel Dufferin Branch.”
Already active in Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Waterloo Region, and Halifax, Mobile Health Clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed.
As for how the clinics work, TELUS says they come equipped with TELUS Health’s electronic medical record (EMR) technology and TELUS LTE Wi-Fi network technology. The company says medical practitioners will be able to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories.
TELUS also says the medical clinic is divided into two main areas: one for patient reception and mental health care and a second more spacious area with an examination table and a physician/nursing workstation which will help to improve patient privacy.
“According to a recent study, on any given night in Peel Region, 922 people are homeless and many also have addictions or mental health needs. In fact, 55 per cent of those who are homeless in this study also identify as having mental health issues and 31 per cent as having addictions,” said David Smith, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin, in a statement.
“Bringing the Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health to Peel Region is great news not only for those unable to receive primary care or addictions care due to access barriers, but also for those hesitant to seek out mainstream services due to stigma. Now these ‘at-risk’ members of the community will have access to the healthcare they need via the Mobile Health Clinic at one of the daily clinic sites throughout Peel.”