Unlike in most Western nations, in rural ethnically Tibetan areas the homeless and the poorest of the poor have virtually none of the safety nets and basic services that we often take for granted. No homeless shelters, no emergency rooms to walk into in a time of crisis, no food kitchens or outreach programs. There are no “free care” programs to meet the needs of indigent persons in Golog State.
The Qinghai Geysar Foundation has already begun crisis treatment by supporting medical interventions that will make a life saving difference. Our funds are limited but our hearts and energy are boundless.
We will make a critical difference in the lives of those who do not qualify or cannot afford local services. With priority given to the homeless with medical needs and maternity and infant care, we have already begun serving the community. Due to severe cold weather, unclean sanitary conditions and extreme poverty, untreated medical conditions are common. Qinghai Gesar plans to provide health education with an emphasis on prevention.
Besides direct services through local clinics and hospitals, we will increase our role within the community by providing an introduction for young people to the health care system in order to improve their willingness to use existing services. Such basic knowledge as proper diet, exercise, and an introduction into traditional and allopathic medicine will be integrated into our program. Design and development of an expanded demonstration project will be our first step.
It is well documented that there are fewer available services in rural areas for the indigenous population. Currently, access for the “common” person is strictly limited to those in need due to a medical crisis or multiple diagnoses. It should be noted that entrée into existing health services is most accessible to those able to pay on a fee for service basis. This leaves the majority of poor Tibetan families without needed medical care.