July 11th 2018 – TELUS and Doctors of the World Canada bring innovative mobile outreach program Health for GoodTM to marginalized communities in Victoria
Specially-equipped mobile health ‘clinic on wheels’ will provide primary care to the city’s most vulnerable citizens, where and when they need it most
Victoria – Today, TELUS and Doctors of the World Canada announced the launch of the innovative TELUS Health for GoodTM program in Victoria. Doctors of the World, with community partners and voluntary health practitioners, will leverage the Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS, to deliver primary healthcare to the city’s most vulnerable citizens. This mobile health “clinic on wheels” acts as a vital link between the community and the health authority enabling the reconnection of homeless citizens to the public health and social services network.
TELUS’ social purpose is to use the power of technology to enable social and digital equality in Canada. The TELUS Health for Good program is part of the larger Connecting for Good portfolio which includes Internet for GoodTM, providing low cost high speed internet to low income families, and Mobility for GoodTM, providing fully subsidized smartphones and data plans to youth transitioning out of foster care.
Providing healthcare to Canadians who live on the street presents some unique challenges. Estimates show that up to 300,000 citizens experience homelessness in Canada in any given year; and these Canadians are often faced dealing with serious physical and mental illnesses. They also typically lack a documented medical history that can be referenced by healthcare practitioners.
“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’ve expanded our TELUS Health for Good program to Victoria,” said Josh Blair, EVP – TELUS Health. “Through our collaboration with Doctors of the World, we’re connecting with community partners and leveraging the power of our technology to deliver customized, compassionate care and enable better health outcomes for more Canadians in need.”
The Mobile Health Clinic is equipped with TELUS Health’s electronic medical record (EMR) technology and TELUS LTE Wi-Fi network technology to assist the onboard care team in delivering immediate, quality care. Skilled practitioners will be able to collect and store data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories.
The vehicle is divided into two main areas: the first for patient reception and nursing care; and the second with an examination table and doctor’s workstation including equipment necessary to provide primary healthcare such as routine testing, contraception, STI treatment, harm reduction services, and mental health care and counselling.
The clinic will also include:
- Blood pressure machine with thermometer and pulse oximeter
- Otoscope and ophthalmoscope
- Emergency and harm reduction supplies
- Vaccination fridge for immunizations and lab specimens
- Locked cabinets for medications (please note there are no narcotics onboard)
In 2014, TELUS and Doctors of the World began a journey to deliver primary care to citizens in need across the country starting in Montreal, QC with the first specially-equipped mobile health clinic. To date, the Montreal mobile clinic has provided care to more than 7,500 people; with nearly half of these patients being successfully reintegrated into the public health system.
“Doctors of the World’s mandate is to promote access to health for all. Today we’re proud to launch our second mobile health clinic with TELUS. In Montreal as well as in Victoria, this can only be a successful initiative thanks to the great collaboration with our community partners. All together we share a common objective: To bring healthcare to the most vulnerable people wherever they are,” said Nadja Pollaert, Executive Director, Doctors of the World.
The Victoria clinic will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, July 11 at 2:30 p.m. PT at Centennial Square in the heart of Victoria with remarks by Her Worship Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria; Josh Blair, EVP – TELUS Health; Nadja Pollaert, Executive Director, Doctors of the World; and Juggy Sihota, Vice President-Consumer Health, TELUS Health.
TELUS is working with health authorities and community partners in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton to expand this innovative mobile healthcare clinic model and ultimately, is planning to introduce TELUS Health for Good nationally to help create a friendlier future for those members of our society who will truly benefit from our compassion and care the most.