Mobile Health Clinic for women launches on Downtown Eastside
The launch of a new specially-equipped medical van will give marginalized women on the Downtown Eastside easier access to health care, announced Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) today.
The mobile health clinic will allow VCH’s Women’s Intensive Case Management Team (ICMT) to connect with difficult-to-reach women — including sex trade workers — who have traditionally avoided contact with health services.
“Some women of the Downtown Eastside have systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing health services—including trauma, physical, psychological or sexual violence,” said VCH’s Bonnie Wilson. “This is a safe, private space to provide crucial clinical care and have conversations with women who aren’t ready or able to come to a clinic.”
The goal, she said, “is to connect these remarkably resilient women to care when they’re ready, and we’re hopeful the presence of the Mobile Health Clinic on the Downtown Eastside will help us do that.”
The Mobile Health Clinic has space for interviews and assessments, and the equipment necessary to provide primary medical care including:
- Exam table
- Interview/counselling space
- Blood pressure machine with thermometer and pulse oximeter
- Otoscope and ophthalmoscope
- Emergency supplies
- Harm reduction supplies
- Vaccination fridge for immunizations and lab specimens
- Locked cabinets for medications, no narcotics onboard
The Mobile Health Clinic is a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, TELUS Health and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
TELUS Health pledged $302,000 to purchase and outfit the van with the latest wireless technology so the onboard health care team stays connected to the Electronic Medical Records platform at all times.
The Women’s ICMT Team is supported by a $3 million donation to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.