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Dr. Jeffery Turnbull talks health equity

Dr. Jeffery Turnbull spoke to a full house during a breakfast buffet inside Restaurant International.

Dr. Jeffery Turnbull spoke to a full house during a breakfast buffet inside Restaurant International.

The health care system needs to be less provider-centered and more patient centered, the Ottawa Hospital’s chief of staff told a breakfast gathering at the Restaurant International, Feb.  25.

Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull spoke about several things such as how healthcare is shifting toward more community practices and equity.

“I think it’s the people in this room, I think we can solve this problem,” Turnbull said. “We need to address health and equity.

”Equity in health care is giving the appropriate people what they need, he said, and compared rich people in Ottawa to people less fortunate people in the north who do not have access to health care. He also said that although Ottawa has access to many psychiatrists, there is only a few who help homeless shelters.

An example was about 15 years ago when Ottawa Inner City Health Inc. (OICH), a collaborative project with the City of Ottawa and shelters, started and provided health care services to the homeless population of Ottawa, providing hospital services, but on the outside.

Turnbull said that the project started off small but is now the size of the Queensway. One example of the help they provided was giving homeless access to alcohol, provided some with one drink an hour, and slowly ween individuals off of their addictions.

“There are people struggling all around us.”

While a clean person might have goals far into the future, Turnbull said, homeless people that have mental issues or addictions, can’t even picture what their life will be past lunch time.

Turnbull also helped to create The Oaks, which was in partner with OICH, and provided homeless male and female a house who are dealing with mental health, and substance use disorders. He said that although there are many people that are still trying to overcome their issues, many have worked on themselves, aren’t begging anymore and are getting their life back together.

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