Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Connecting with Care - Montreal

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ROBERT LAMARCHE PEER, CENTRE SIDA AMITI

Why did I start going to the CSA?

No one ever looked down on me.

I got a lot of love.

DR. JEAN ROBERT CENTRE SIDA AMITI

Street people, that is what I'll call them. People who are in a bad way, who have been so

systematically excluded from the system and kicked out of hospitals and outpatient clinics, that they don't use them anymore.

The street scene, there the message travels, it's mind-boggling. Quickly,

60-65% of the people we see are referred by others.

That's the feeling.

You have to look around, Listen, hear, see.

ANNE-MARIE PLADEAU CLIENT, CENTRE SIDA AMITI

Dr. Robert is someone I trust.

He is extremely important in my life.

And we've been working together for 10 years.

Every time I come into the office on Wednesday,

I'm so happy. To see he is still here.

He lets me come and visit every week to tell him what is going on in my life.

He helped me with my family, He helped me with my legal problems.

Dr. Robert, whom I trust. A couple of people, here.

Like in Montreal, when I went to the hospital

and said I had hep C and HIV,

Oh Lord! The doctors took extreme precautions.

They put on their big plastic gloves and masks.

And to get a hospital room.

CYTHIA VICKENS HARM REDUCTION WORKER, CENTRE SIDA AMITI

Because the users in the streets they are not always the same coming.

My role here is to be a link between street people and their health.

It is to forge a bond and learn to trust.

And to learn how to make them understand that not everyone in the healthcare system looks down on them.

There are some places where they are treated as human beings loved and accepted.

HUGO BISSONNET EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTRE SIDA AMITI

When we gave people the opportunity to take care of themselves, everyone said:

OK. I want to get my hep C treated. They knew for 10 or 15 years that they had it.

I think we've managed to reduce hep C significantly, but it is still around.

But it's getting harder to find new positive cases.

And we get fewer and fewer cases, as weíve treated everyone we could find.

That's when we've expanded what I'd call a hybrid approach

a community-based model, incorporating psychosocial and medical services.

We are or at least until very recently have been the only ones doing this in Quebec.

And in this case, we made what I would affectionately call a sort of partnership with Dopamine.

MARTIN PAGEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DOPAMINE

Our programs focus on accommodating people, their needs

and their living situations, which is a priority for us,

as well as how they got to this point or ended up with this problem.

SIMON CHRTIEN PEER NAVIGATOR, DOPAMINE

The medical services I found were terrible.

Since I was a heroin user, the doctors were reluctant

to give me proper care for my problem.

The idea of continuing to think about these barriers, this access and this

comprehensive approach to healthcare was why we decided to bring healthcare to the people.

This meant developing a medical clinic as part of the organizationís day centre servicesó

within our current set of services.

So we could, once again, lessen this barrier.

Dr. LOUIS-CHRISTOPHE JUTEAU DOCTOR, DOPAMINE

So we have excellent dynamics with the navigators and doctors,

a nurse who also pitches in, as well as coordinators and members of the organization.

Everyone is equal here,

we make decisions and determine the clinicís strategies as a group.

And I think this makes a big difference.

SOPHIE LEFEBVRE PEER NAVIGATOR, DOPAMINE

These doctors really want to help you.

When you step into their office, they do everything they can to find a way,

to make sure you're happy when you leave.

As someone who has been through the treatment, and worked for Dopamine as a peer navigator,

there are folks who asked me if I'd already done the treatment,

and what it was like.

DR. JULIE BRUNEAU CRCHUM PROFESSOR UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL

I think we underuse peers,

but we haven't turned the corner yet and are open to change and innovation.

I think we have all the ingredients, and should put them to work.

DR. CHLOLABELLE DOCTOR, DOPAMINE

Hepatitis C treatments,

could really be a way for people to restore their trust in the healthcare system.

How to do so is the challenge. and there is no perfect model.

I think we simply have to adapt to the people we work with and with our resources,

plus the day-to-day realities of our communities, sectors and structures.

We can't simply focus on providing services, without defending people's rights,

and fighting for the change that must be one of the ways we put an end,

to this crisis.

I hope in the future, people will be less ignorant,

and have less scorn for people living with their addictions.

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