Medical volunteers — Street Side Medical Clinic needs you!
Street Side Medics — the customised mobile medical clinic providing health care to the homeless community in NSW — is calling for doctors, nurses, physios and other medical volunteers to help extend its essential work.
The life-saving initiative was established by The Royal North Shore Hospital’s Dr Daniel Nour, who said the recent donation of a second van by LSH Auto Australia, the largest Mercedes-Benz retail group in Australia, as well as the growing homeless community across Sydney, has led to a desperate need for more volunteers.
Dr Nour (above) and his team of medical volunteers have already helped hundreds of people experiencing homelessness since the clinic started in August last year. Operating alongside well-established homeless services and shelters, it currently reaches the growing homeless community in Woolloomooloo, Parramatta, Manly and Brookvale.
“We are hoping to be able to extend this service, but we need more volunteers to help us do so,” Dr Nour said. “The van is set up with all the common facilities mandated to have a general practice, including medical examination, basic pathology and minor surgical procedures.”
The mobile outreach service has a no-turn-away policy and provides a walk-in service for the homeless, who know its chosen location at the same time every week.
“This allows us to improve the catchment of patients and build rapport with them as we attend to their acute and chronic healthcare concerns,” Dr Nour explained.
Dr Nour is a medical graduate who has been involved in a multitude of charitable homeless services for the past eight years. He has seen firsthand the detrimental effect homelessness has on a person’s baseline health. Primary healthcare prevention for common non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and diabetes is not adequately conducted for the homeless.
He has found that barriers to accessing services by the homeless include lack of awareness of available services, prohibitive costs, lack of transport, the level of documentation required, stigma and embarrassment, previous negative experiences and distrust. Street Side Medics provides a bulk billing service with only a Medicare payment, but for patients without Medicare, or any other limitations preventing Medicare payment, it has adopted a no-turn-away policy and will see all patients free of charge.
Street Side Medics van locations:
- Parramatta: Sundays, 4.30–6.30 pm
- Manly: Mondays, 5–7 pm
- Brookvale: Mondays, 7.15–8.30 pm
- Woolloomooloo: Tuesdays, 7.30–9.30 pm
The second van will be on the road soon.
Medical practitioners interested in volunteering with Street Side Medics are encouraged to email email@example.com or call 02 8324 7531.
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