The Berlin archbishop Heiner Koch has called for better medical care for homeless people . It was a “question of humanity” that people who lived on the street, would be medically treated – “no matter where they come from,” said Koch on Wednesday in Berlin. What is needed is “a well-resourced, low-threshold medical care system for homeless people”, to which all those in need of access would have access.
Koch commented on a visit to the Caritas doctor‘s mobile in Berlin. The mobile medical practice has been traveling through the capital for 23 years, providing medical care to the homeless. Koch and the Berlin Caritas director Ulrike Kostka wanted to get an impression of the health situation of people who live permanently on the street or have no health insurance. At the same time, both of them take the opportunity to talk to those affected.
According to Caritas, the number of homeless people in Berlin is rising, which can not be achieved by medical rule offers. Since most of those affected are not insured, they would not be treated in normal medical practices and could only be treated as hospital emergencies. As an alternative, only help from social carriers remained. According to the aid organization, the Caritas doctor’s mobile carries out around 1,700 treatments and 1,600 consultations directly on the street each year. A large proportion of patients come from EU countries, including many Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians, who in Germany are often not entitled to health insurance.