Archive / Medical Care for Homeless People

Nr. 140 / 1993 - ongoing / Austria

Medical Care for Homeless People


A free of charge mobile clinic to provide medical care to homeless people

Initiator(s)

WochenKlausur

Description

After receiving an invitation from the Vienna Secession, WochenKlausur decided to develop a project to improve the situation of homeless people, instead of putting on an exhibition. At the time of the project, Karlsplatz, the square in front of the exhibition building, was known throughout the city as a meeting place for homeless people. WochenKlausur customized a van into a mobile clinic that provided Vienna's homeless population with access to health care, free of charge. To pay the salaries of the physicians, WochenKlausur resorted to a trick, asking a correspondent for the German news magazine Der Spiegel to conduct an interview with the councilor of Vienna and pretend that he was interested in reporting on the project. Since the politician did not want to appear in the German press as the cause of the project’s failure, he had no choice but to provide funding for the physicians who would staff the clinic – initially for one year.

Location

Austria

Goals

To provide health care for homeless population and to people without access to healthcare.

Beneficial outcomes

Since 1993, 600 people per month have received medical care from the clinic. In 1998 a larger vehicle replaced the old van and the relief organization Caritas has taken over management of the entire project. The mobile medical clinic has become a permanent institution, also offering treatment to foreigners without Insurance.

Maintained by

Vienna Secession; sponsors and Council.

Users

Homeless population, people without health insurance. The clinic has over 700 patients per month

Links

http://www.wochenklausur.at/projekt.php?lang=en&id=3