Over $300,000 was spent in the last six months alone on hospital emergency room visits and ambulances for homeless people requiring care, a new survey carried out by the region shows.
By Matthew Kang, CBC News
That figure was based on regional data indicating the average cost to the healthcare system for an ER visit is $420. The average cost for a hospital ambulance trip is $348. The survey analyzed dispatch data and found that homeless people made 585 visits to hospital ER departments and were taken to the hospital by an ambulance 236 times.
“What we know is that folks who have housing, they have a significant reduction in visits to the ER, ambulance transports,” said Marie Morrison, the manager of housing stability at the Region of Waterloo’s community services department.