View Full Version : QUESTION: Care of Vulnerable Populations--INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

11-29-2008, 07:08 PM
I am a nursing student in California taking a class in community health nursing. This week, we are learning about the care of vulnerable populations, specifically the homeless population. I am interested in hearing from nurses in the US and other countries regarding this topic.

1. How do community health nurses in your country help meet the needs of vulnerable populations (ie. the homeless population)?

2. Does the type of health system in place in your country seem to make a difference in the way vulnerable populations are cared for?

If you could please include your country of origin it would be most appreciated! Thank you in advance for your response.

11-29-2008, 07:54 PM
Hi and welcome to NV.

Country: Australia
Question one.
I know there are outreach programs in mental health, which are designed for homeless people. I don't know much other then they are called HOPS, and people are referred to them by CATT teams. The main issue is with actual contact with this section of the population. I have a feeling that if there is an issue people are picked up in a number of ways for general health care. Through psych services, were general doctors can be called in for other issues of health. Salvation army and other community based services which run accommodation call health care in. Police bring cases to the ED, and they may be treated by Fast-Trak

Question 2.
See here ( for an overview of Australia's health system (my long post). Which probably answers your second question, as everyone has access to healthcare as long as they are citizens, when it comes to immigrants i don't really know what happens. However they may be covered under disability or low income support which also gives free health care.

Mr Ian
11-29-2008, 11:08 PM
I'm also in Australia so can only 'value add' to PJs post.

1. How do community health nurses in your country help meet the needs of vulnerable populations (ie. the homeless population)?

Issue a bus ticket to another district.

2. Does the type of health system in place in your country seem to make a difference in the way vulnerable populations are cared for?

No. Everyone is treated equally badly.

(Tho PJs post is probably more PC)

Health has begun to realise there are many social issues that effect health outcomes and so, in the preventative stakes, we are seeking out more ways to avoid negative health outcomes by providing positive social interventions for some of those issues that are substantial burdens of 'disease'.
It's a 'social policy' minefield tho and the boundaries are endless.

11-29-2008, 11:45 PM
Mr Ian, to the point as always. I love to hear your thoughts on universal vs private health care over on my thread of the same name, esp as (if I'm right) you work in mental health.

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