We must house homeless to cure health inequities – Seattle Times

This article is a good overview of the issue of homelessness and it’s affects on healthcare. It’s worth a read given the disgraceful behavior of our current Jefferson County Hospital Commissioners Jill Buhler and Tony Deleo in determining that it was not in the interest of our community health,  to even take a stand on Prop  1 after hospital staff worked so hard on identifying it as part of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

While Prop 1 failed, it would have been nice to have had the support of the people supposedly supporting healthcare in our county.  It will be interesting to see if Mr. McComas, who is currently leading in the returns, has anything more than the nice words behind his campaign promises of understanding the needs of the less fortunate. We obviously can’t count on our medical society members to give a damn. They demonstrated their ability to buy into misinformation and help spread the fear campaign against Ms. Van Hoover.  Nor expect any criticism of the status quo from the Leader, which derives significant ad revenue from the endless ads that the hospital places every week. It’s all about power and money. As usual. It’s worth noting that marketing costs are outpacing charity care this year at our hospital.

We need a health-care system that recognizes homelessness first and foremost as a medical issue…We need a health-care system that recognizes homelessness first and foremost as a medical issue. People experiencing homelessness are hospitalized at rates four times that of the general population. Yet, the medical community has often sat on the sideline, with homelessness siloed as an issue for the housing authority to address. It is time for the housing crisis to be treated as a public-health crisis and for our health-care dollars to be invested in housing.



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