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Rome Reports

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Vatican opens tent hospital for homeless for World Day of the Poor

One of the concrete results from the Jubilee of Mercy was the institution of World Day of the Poor.

To help make this day successful, the Vatican installed a tent hospital for homeless people for the week. About 70 patients pass through it daily.

Italian Society of General Medicine
“Many of the people who pass through are homeless. What made the biggest impression is that there are also people who have homes and healthcare but they don't have the resources to access these services. This gave us the idea that there's a new type of poverty.”

After filling out data and passing through a general check-up, patients receive the flu vaccine. If doctors detect there are other problems, patients are taken to specific departments such as cardiology, dermatology, gynecology, rheumatology or podiatry.

Doctor, Italian Society of General Medicine
“We've taken two people to the emergency room. They had blood sugar levels of more than 300 and felt sick. We also attended to someone who got hurt in St. Peter's Square.”

“We had a really serious case. There was a man whose blood sugar level was so high we had to give him insulin. We followed the evolution of his case and were able to stabilize the situation.”

Each patient has a very different story, from Italians without resources to refugees and immigrants.

“Hospitals waste so much time. They tell you to come back the following day with an appointment... They set this place up and no one has to pay.”

Between volunteers and doctors, around 30 people work in hospital shifts from 8 o'clock a.m. to 8 o'clock p.m.

Javier Romero
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski