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Doctors check up on Brussels homeless this winter
Médécins du Monde has begun its winter campaign, providing basic medical care to Brussels' homeless community.
A team of 17 doctors and 38 volunteers will tour the city's homeless shelters offering care to people who do not have health cover or the money to pay a doctor.
Last year, the NGO helped 1,000 homeless people in Brussels, offering 2,500 free medical consultations.
Lucille Ganchou, coordinator of Médécins du Monde's winter medical plan, said: "The beneficiaries are people who have no mutuelle and have difficulty obtaining a medical card from social services."
The Brussels region has begun its winter plan for the homeless. Every evening, 1,450 people can be accommodated in the region's shelters - 800 of these are additional places opened up specially for the winter season, while 378 places are available year-round.
The main shelters in central Brussels are on Boulevard Poincaré and in the CPAS building on Rue Royale. They are manned by a team of social workers, educators, nurses, carers and kitchen helpers.
Homeless charity Samusocial provides a hot evening meal, breakfast in the morning, access to showers and toilets, cloakroom facilities and medical assistance.
An additional facility, operated by the Citizens Platform for Refugees, is open at Porte d'Ulysse in Haren, accommodating up to 350 migrants.