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Filed under Opinion

Staff editorial: April 17, 2012

Staff editorial: April 17, 2012

UW-Eau Claire officials are currently exploring options to decide if they will reform the way Student Health Service on campus is run.

One of the options could be partnering with a health care provider from the area, such as Luther Midelfort or Sacred Heart. There are many options being considered to best meet students’ needs and nothing has been decided, but the editorial board thought a few considerations will be essential.

A lot of campus services are being outsourced to companies. Most recently the Saturday Night Shuttle service was outsourced to Right Way Shuttle.  With each of these instances, it’s important that the quality of the service is improved and that is no different with student health care.

Student Health Service currently have limited hours running from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. SHS has longer hours on Wednesdays, staying open until 7 p.m. These hours also only apply while classes are in session.  An outsourced service that provides care during the times when SHS isn’t open could be hugely beneficial.

The convenience of SHS shouldn’t be underestimated, so it would be useful to have the current system in place, only supplemented with extraneous outsourced health care service.

However, the editorial board thought including urgent care in the new system is not necessary as Sacred Heart hospital is near enough to campus where a closer option wouldn’t serve enough to be cost effective.

A very important part of the planning should be to expand the current hours, as a lot of accidents and injuries happen after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends.

It would be detrimental to lose something that is free or cheap to students just to save a little money.  For students without health insurance, this would be tragic.  That’s why the outsourcing shouldn’t be a replacement so much as a supplement.

A small Student Senate/Student Health Service partnership work group could be formed to continue looking into the matter. The editorial board suggested any potential group like this should include student input in every step of the way.

Students are the backbone of the idea behind SHS, so it is imperative that their voices be heard and taken into account in moving forward with any decision-making.  If it is a service to them, they should be involved.

Transparency will be key in determining the future of health care on campus.  Students and everyone that will be using the facility need to know the processes involved with determining the future of SHS.

Granted, most of this is speculation.  The plan is very much in its preliminary stages.  However, it is important to remember these things in moving forward with the plan.

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