Governor-General lends a hand at Parramatta mobile medical clinic for homeless

A RAINY Sunday night at the Street Side Medics mobile clinic at Parramatta attending to some of the city’s rough sleepers received a surprise visit by the Governor-General David Hurley and his wife, Mrs Linda Hurley.

His Excellency has been keen to get a close-up look at the charity medical service founded by the 2022 Young Australian of the Year, Dr Daniel Nour, a heart surgeon at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Dr Nour’s mobile clinic is run to look after people experiencing homelessness in the city, staffed by volunteer doctors providing treatments for a range of health problems.

“We discussed the importance of delivering crucial primary healthcare to our most vulnerable populations and the invaluable role that Street Side Medics and our partners play in this regard,” Dr Nour said.

“Their visit truly humbled us, and we even shared a very special experience through a sing-along led by Mrs Hurley.”

The Governor-General and Mrs Hurley initially wanted to visit Street Side Medics in 2022 but there were intervening events such as COVID-19 travel restrictions, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and subsequent ascension of King Charles III.

The Governor-General has seen the extent of healthcare needs of homeless people, and why Dr Nour’s mobile clinic has been expanding across Western Sydney with nearby clinics at Blacktown, Hornsby and Marrickville.

According to Parramatta City Council, homelessness and rough sleepers in the council area has risen in recent times, including secondary homelessness cases among people with no usual residence moving frequently in temporary accommodations.

Since February 2022, Council staff, homelessness experts and Department of Communities and Justice staff regularly visit the city streets on any given night to assist those people.

According to the 2021 Australian Bureau of Statistics findings, more than 122,000 Australians are homeless, with 55 for every 10,000 male population making up most people without a permanent roof over their heads. While homeless women of varying ages account for 42 for every 10,000 female population, or 54,000 women.

In NSW, more than 37,700 people are homeless, with 2,588 sleeping rough on the street while 5,861 are staying in supported accommodation until they can be housed, the Homelessness NSW website stated.

These homeless and vulnerable cohorts have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses compared with the general population, Dr Nour said.

The mobile clinic provides homeless people with referrals to medical specialists, immunisation, pathology services, health examination, screening tests, nutritional advice, treatments and minor surgical procedures among others.

“With the high cost of living and housing crisis, homelessness across NSW, not unlike many other parts of the country, is seriously concerning,” Dr Nour said.

“It truly is an ongoing significant issue. We’re seeing many patients with mental health issues and especially more mature-aged women, too.

“By providing our walk-in service at the same location weekly, our aim is to not only improve the catchment of patients but also, to build rapport with them as we attend to their healthcare concerns.”

Street Side Medics offers Medicare bulk billing service, but for those without Medicare card, volunteer doctors don’t turn them away, treating every homeless person presenting themselves free of charge.

The Street Side Medic mobile clinic in Parramatta is open every Sunday from 5pm to 7pm at Prince Alfred Square, 353D Church Street. In Blacktown every Saturday from 3.45pm to 5.45pm at Alpha Park on Alpha Street.

For details on other mobile clinic sites across Greater Sydney, or to volunteer and donate, visit

IMAGE: Governor-General David Hurley at the Street Side Medics mobile clinic at Parramatta.

Author: admin

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