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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 164-170

Homelessness: A hidden public health problem

Centre for community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

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S Patra
Centre for community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19189843

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Homelessness is a problem, which affects not only the people who are homeless but the whole society. This problem is not well recognized among the public health professionals. This paper attempts to discuss the issues in the context of homelessness starting from the definition used to methodology of estimation of their numbers as well as their health problems and health care needs. There is lack of data on the health problems of homelessness from India. There is no special health or social programmes or services for this subsection of the society. The existing number of shelters is inadequate and as there are multiple barriers, which prevent them to have proper access to the existing health care system. With the changing social and economic scenario, homelessness is likely to increase. We need to recognize homelessness as a public health problem and attempt to target this group for special care in order to promote equity in health system.

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