Dr. Andrea Somers and her colleagues in UHN’s two Emergency Departments at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital are collecting old mobile phones and giving them to patients who are homeless, struggling with mental health or substance use, and socially isolated. The hope? That the phones will give them better access to medical care and social services.
Dr. Somers says, “It’s really about health equity…During the best of times, it’s a problem trying to deliver good quality healthcare to someone who you can’t reach, who doesn’t have a phone. The pandemic has only amplified that need.”
During this unprecedented time, those who are able to get tested for COVID-19 may have to wait several days to receive their results. If healthcare workers cannot contact a patient, then it is difficult to follow-up. Those who do not own a phone and test positive for the coronavirus and need to self-isolate, the challenge lies in being able to access services like 211 or a virtual doctor.
Dr. Somers and her colleagues are collecting old mobile phones and giving them to patients who are homeless, struggling with mental health or substance use, and socially isolated.
How can you help?
Go digging for some old phones lying around your house! if you would like to donate your old devices.