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Homelessness and Health Care - Essay Example

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The paper "Homelessness and Health Care" describes that a large number of homeless people often suffer from multiple health problems. For instance, upper respiratory tract infections, leg ulcers, and frostbites are common, often as a result of homelessness. …
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Homelessness and Health Care

The burden imposed by substance abuse and mental illness are well recorded in homeless people. In addition, chronic diseases are common as many homeless persons have peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, hypertension, liver disease, and respiratory problems. Skin diseases are also not left out and are extraordinarily frequent leading to costly hospitalization due to cellulitis. Frostbites and hypothermia are feared life hazards in the streets and have been implied as risk factors for the premature demise. Other conditions, such as lice infestations, pellagra, and diphtheria may ultimately lead to endocarditis from the toxins produced by Bartonella Quintana (Badiaga et al., 2008). The persons caring for this cohort of individuals must marry medicine with aspects of public health since HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis are endemic, communicable diseases outbreaks such as influenza, violence and trauma are somewhat implied in homeless people and infestations common in shelter. Cheung and Hwang (2004) investigated on elevated mortality rates in the United States, England, Denmark, and Canada. A peculiar and disturbing observation made was the apparent absence of notable inputs of health insurance on the predisposition of premature mortality. Incredibly, in the US, there remains 40 million plus citizens without a coverage of health insurance. The rest of the countries had had for a long time universal health insurance. Even with the necessity for a universal coverage, the initiative appears to fall short in preventing early deaths in the homeless population (Cheung & Hwang, 2004). Fundamental improvement in health care delivery is crucial to address the existing health care disparities for such population at risk. The health care of homeless families and individuals poses a distressing challenge to our traditional models of health care delivery. The undying urgency of striving daily for warm meals and safe shelter relegates health care to a less-immediate priority (Wright & Tompkins, 2006). Injuries fester and common illnesses progress resulting to increased cases of emergency unit visit and acute care hospitalization. Treatment plans that are sensible to those with family and home support are often inapplicable to difficult, impossible to have bed rest, he homeless people; simple changes of dressing, hard to secure medication and properly store them and adherence to therapy especially those that require multiple daily administrations is flattering. ... Read More
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