Pets ‘better protected by law than the homeless’

This Monday, the NGO Doctors of the World launched its new national campaign to shed light on the homeless in Luxembourg, excluded from social protection and access to care.

“Do you have to pretend to be a dog in order to have a shelter?” This is the slogan of the new national campaign of Doctors of the World which treats free those who do not have access to care, such as undocumented migrants or victims of an armed conflict. Launched in Luxembourg this Monday, May 15, the campaign compares the situation of pets found on the street, “all taken care of and better protected by law than the homeless”. The international NGO wishes “to raise awareness in public opinion that, among the Luxembourg population, there are people who do not have access to the national social protection system”.

Without a fixed address or without a residence permit, “these people are therefore unable to go to a doctor or to the hospital”. Despite the establishment of Universal Health Care Coverage (CUSS) in 2021, “this coverage is still far from having a dimension of universality and above all, it still has no legal basis” regrets Dr Bernard Thill, the president. While some 150 people have been affiliated with the CUSS for a year, the NGO has supported 1,145 people in the Grand Duchy in 2022. So, the latter wants its awareness campaign to allow the registration of coverage in political programs.

Attendance at reception centers on the rise

Made up of doctors, health professionals and non-medical workers, Médecins du Monde’s essentially volunteer teams work in the Reception, Care and Guidance Centers (CASO) of Bonnevoie and Esch-sur-Alzette, at the WanterAktioun, as well as at the Maison médico-psycho-sociale, L’Escale, in Esch-sur-Alzette. “There is a severe lack of stable and long-term reception facilities for homeless, aging people suffering from chronic pathologies,” explains Dr. Bernard Thill, who is calling for long-term accommodation. Mainly suffering from chronic disease, patients benefit from continuity of care in these places.

Vital support since “these people, whose state of health is incompatible with life on the street, have nowhere to go”. Far from wars or natural disasters, the Grand Duchy is nevertheless experiencing a deteriorating situation according to the NGO. “Unfortunately, since the start of our medical activity in Luxembourg in 2014, our medical centers have been constantly full, quite the contrary,” observes Sylvie Martin, Managing Director. The NGO also calls for donations in order to finance the care structures, the equipment, the organization and the coordination of the voluntary teams.

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