The main challenges are: the unavailability of health care for homeless people, their exclusion from health facilities, and the lack of information in society; leading to the creation of stereotypes and social tension. Therefore, a legitimate legal environment for street medicine in Czechia is needed.
Medici na Ulici
2,000 Euro Prize 2023
Country: Czech Republic
Region: Capital Prague, Olomouc Region, Plzeň Region, South Moravian Region
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Awareness raising, Health, Homelessness
Project owner: Medici na ulici
Responsible person: Lenka Mezeiová
The innovation of the Medici na Ulici (Medics on the Streets) project lies in involving medical student in the care of homeless people. The project builds positive attitudes towards homeless people in future doctors and nurses. Furthermore, Medici na ulici increases the young generation's societal responsibility, a sense of belonging, solidarity, enthusiasm, and mutual help. Finally, for rejected people, the project rebuilds trust in the society, healthcare, and in humanity itself.
The project members are primarily medical students; these are divided into two groups – experienced and beginners. The former is an older student, who regularly goes to the field and has passed final examinations; the latter is a medic who assists, communicates with the client, and performs actions under guidance. Constant feedback drives the system and monthly meetings includes discussion on education, and work analysis.
The project has become an essential actor in the Czech non-profit scene consisting of almost 190 members. In one year (2021–2022) more than 1650 treatments in 556 stations in Prague, and around 900 in Brno we provided. During covid, the project also operated in covid wards and regularly appears in the media and conferences to educate wider society.
The project can be applied in all environments; every region where there are young medical students who care for homeless people.
Photos © Milan Bureš, Matěj Dubenský
A unique project, which values the importance of inclusive health care and rebuilds trust in the healthcare system step by step. Due to its mutually beneficial model, the project is sustainable: while people living on the streets receive treatment, medical students gain valuable experience in socially sensitive health care work at an early stage in their career. Patients are treated as clients; the face-to-face interaction helps people living on the streets to break out of their passive role and regain their dignity.