Competing priorities, including finding shelter, food and employment, are cited as factors that can delay seeking medical attention. Also, many people have had a hard time finding a family doctor, but that’s also more difficult for homeless people, particularly for those whose provincial health card was lost or stolen, as reported by a number of people in the study.
And, even if a homeless person does have a family doctor, transportation costs can prevent them from getting there for an appointment, The study also reports that some homeless have had negative experiences with health-care professionals and were made to feel unwelcome and stigmatized. That often results in a person who, although they have needs, is reluctant to seek care because they had such a bad experience the last time.
In addition to our publicly funded health-care system, should we provide special systems of care for those who are particularly disadvantaged?