Alissa is a palliative care and addictions medicine physician and is co-chair of Health Providers Against Poverty (HPAP)
“I care for people experiencing homelessness and precarious housing. I see people die as a result of oppressive structural forces and the adverse social determinants of health.
I care for people that are dying because our health, social service systems and societies let them down.
Looking into the face of a pandemic, I was afraid. I was afraid that COVID would hit marginalized populations hard and that those in power would not work quickly enough to protect them.
I was afraid that we would see more death as a result of inaction.
We have been working alongside front-line workers, community groups and advocates to push for what needs to be done urgently at all levels of government to protect people experiencing homelessness, and those who care for them.
COVID-19 has showcased just how fragile and inadequate our society’s systems are and how easy it is for people to fall through the cracks. In order to be socially accountable to our patients, we need to work upstream to ensure they get the protection, dignity and care they have been owed all along.”