WHEN PEOPLE GET SICK, THEY BECOME ‘POOR’; WHEN THE POOR GET SICK, THEY BECOME EVEN POORER.’
Approximately 50% of patients are referred to Overstrand Hospice by state hospitals and clinics. Most of these patients (and their families) are from the under-resourced areas across our communities and struggle to make ends meet, or attend to basic needs such as food and shelter.
Poverty also places a huge limitation on these patients being able to access holistic healthcare and health information which places them in an extremely vulnerable and compromised position in terms of their treatment and care and making informed choices about their health. We recognise that patients living with a life-threatening illness are vulnerable; patients living in poverty are more vulnerable. To this end, Overstrand Hospice remains committed to providing care, and linking patients and families to those resources which may be beyond our capacity but necessary for optimal care.
These resources might include sourcing bandages for wound care; a referral to a family agency regarding the future care of children; arranging transportation to a hospital, or providing companionship to a patient who is isolated. Providing optimal care is achieved through the generous support and interest from the public, as well as on-going collaboration and partnering with health care providers and NGO’s who are able to support the work that we do and extend our reach of care. This in order to bring hope and care to people living in poverty and with a life-threatening illness, and keep the presence of desperation at a distance.
by Fran Tong, General Manager Overstrand Hospice.