COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Crisis highlights a lack of GP support for the homeless

Crisis has launched a campaign following new research that reveals homeless people are 40 times more likely not to be registered with a GP.

The charity wants the Government to adopt a directive reminding GPs of their duty to register the homeless. It is also calling for GPs to receive specialist training and resources to tackle the health needs of homeless people.

Crisis' research discovered 55 per cent of homeless people had made no contact with their GP in the past year and many were turning instead to accident and emergency for their medical needs. Another survey of doctors discovered four out of five believe it is more difficult to register with a GP than the average person.

"Having to go to A&E when an untreated problem reaches crisis point is no way to access healthcare in the 21st century," said Crisis chief executive Shaks Ghosh.

Crisis is pushing the financial as well as the humanitarian benefits of its campaign, pointing out A&E care costs the state nearly three times as much as a trip to the GP.

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