Doctors concerned as more and more homeless look to hospitals for shelter

homeless ctv jean luc boulch

Doctors say they are worried about a growing number of homeless people who are turning to emergency departments for shelter and warmth.
    
Dr. Carolyn Snider of St. Michael's Hospital says it's vital for governments to increase shelter spaces and warming centres.
    
Snider co-authored a study released today suggesting the number of homeless people visiting Ontario emergency departments without urgent medical issues rose by 24 per cent over the past several winters.
    
In Toronto hospitals, it shot up by 68 per cent.
    
The study found no corresponding increase in non-urgent E-R visits by people who have housing.
    T
he authors say cases of hypothermia and frostbite among people who are homeless are also on the rise.