What They’re Watching: Scott Miscovich, MD

Dr. Scott Miscovich, owner of Windward Urgent Care and Primary Care Physicians, joins us in this edition of What They’re Watching to discuss Hawaii’s homelessness problem and addiction.

We have actually per capita the worst homelessness problem in the state of Hawaii than anywhere in the United States. And there’s a big connection because the data that we have from the agencies that are collecting it, we’re collecting right now as we speak 2017, but the 2016 data showed that 70 percent of unsheltered homeless have addiction issues, 50 percent have moderate/severe mental illness and many are dual diagnoses.

And so our belief is this a healthcare issue and our homelessness will not get any better until we address the root cause. So now what we’re doing is we’re unfortunately addressing it when it’s the most difficult and the most expensive where these people are seriously addicted, they’re living in the streets, they’re living under bridges. We need to start rolling it further and further and further in the prevention way so that we don’t let homelessness occur. So it’s an unfortunate occurrence that we have to be aggressive on and that’s where it ties into addition and overdose and access to care. As in other areas, we need more mental health services, we need more outreach services, we need more mental health beds, we need more step down facilities.