Opinion | Winning back trust in Student Health Services will take time
Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 00:08
Student Health Services at Miami may be trying to step up to the plate to serve students needs. Miami University and McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital merged in July to enhance Student Health Services. Too many students at Miami have written off the health center on campus because they have experienced poor service and treatment. This has been a brewing issue for quite some time underneath rumors of misdiagnosis, poor treatment and inadequate services, and Miami is finally making a positive step forward with this decision to merge with McCullough-Hyde.
The Editorial Board applauds Miami for addressing the issue of inadequate health services and we hope to see change, within the coming year, where students can leave the health center confident they are going to get better and feeling that they were treated correctly.
But why has it taken so long for Miami to fix this problem? Other areas of life and education at Miami have more than enough time and money allocated to them, and Student Health Services should be a top priority for ensuring the safety and well being of it’s 16,000 students.
One main complaint from students concerning the health center is how ineffective scheduling is and how it usually takes the health center a couple days to get students in because they are overbooked and have inconvenient hours for students. Now, with this merge, the health center has expanded its hours for the 2013-2014 academic year from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year the health center was not open at all on the weekends for students, so this is a great first step towards change. The hours were difficult for students to fit into their busy schedules, and sometimes the weekend would be the only time students could see a doctor. It forced some students to even go to the emergency room at McCullough-Hyde for just a general sickness, which would result in a huge fee just for getting an opinion.
Medical experts from McCullough-Hyde will now be working with nurses and doctors at the health center to ensure students are getting correct diagnosis, while also providing second opinions to illnesses. There have been too many complaints from students about being misdiagnosed, not having thorough check ups and not being able to get the right prescription, or a prescription at all. With these experts working alongside nurses and doctors at health services we hope this will improve doctors visits for students so they can feel confident about health care at Miami.
Too many students have lost faith in Student Health Services, and to some, it is even a common joke. We hope this merger can actually provide students with the proper care they deserve and need so they don’t have to look for other medical services outside Miami. Many students won’t even visit the student health center at all because of how other students portray its services. This merger may give students a more positive outlook on student health services and it may repair the damaged reputation its students see.
For some students at Miami it is confusing why such an amazing, reputable school has such poor health services for its students. Why has Miami put money into other aspects of life in Oxford, and not student health? Why in the 2012-2013 Oxford Campus General Fee Budget, which is a break down of what students pay in general fees for every year, has only .8 million been spent on Student Health Services, while Athletics gets a whopping 15.4 million, and the Goggin Ice Center is 2.3 million? To bring that closer to home, that means each student paid in their general fees for 2012-2013 $950 dollars for Intercollegiate Athletics, $283 dollars for the Rec Center, $141 dollars for Goggin, and then a measly $46 dollars for student health services. This is actually a decrease from 2011-2012, where 1.1 million was spent on Student Health Services and each student paid $65 dollars in their general fees. These numbers sound an alarming issue.
The issue that Student Health Services lost most students trust in the first place is unacceptable, and it needs to change. This merge may have positive effects, but only time will tell this year. If it doesn’t work, Miami simply needs to do more. Students need health services that they can go to any day, any time, especially in case of an emergency. There is no question about it; students at Miami require adequate, reliable and trustworthy service when it comes to health services, and currently, health services are only halfway there for most students. The board hopes to see positive changes this year and for years to come.