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Vol. 139 Iss. 6
October 22, 2009
Bailing our staff out of jail since 1875
Waiting a healthy length of time?
Students and administration diﬀer in perceptions of appointment scheduling at Health Centre
The services offered by the Health Centre have not changed in the past year, but many students are unhappy with the month-long waiting periods for medical appointments.
Students entering the Health Center this year with hopes of scheduling an appointment may ﬁnd themselves facing a long line-up before services are available. Appointments for a variety of health issues have been given dates that are as much as a month and a half away. Many students feel that this time lapse is unacceptable and unhelpful. “My experience with the health centre this year is pretty much along the lines of: [...] ‘You’ve been sick for an extended period of time? Let me get you an appointment. Oh, looks like our next opening is in three months,” says 4th year English major Hannah Hollet. e longest waits are to see one of the two doctors who attend to Mount Allison. ese can only be made after a referral from the campus Nurse Educator, Cindy Crossman. Delays are also caused by the doctors’ limited availability: they alternate every week, with one coming on Monday afternoons the ﬁrst week and the other coming ursday mornings the fol-
lowing week. Some students, on requesting an appointment and being given one in the distant future, have bypassed the health center altogether, choosing to wait at the emergency room, or seek private practitioners in town. “I was at [the walk-in clinic] today at 10 a.m, and there were already three students there before me, on top of Sackville residents,” says Hollet. “I’m sure they’ve come to the same conclusion as me: that the only way to see a doctor before the winter term is to congest the emergency room, which makes it a lot worse for the hospital.” Vice-President International and Student Aﬀairs, Ron Byrne, says that the school’s data shows that the number of appointments at the Health Centre have stayed the same, despite the inﬂux of new students, and the fear of the H1N1 ﬂu. All the regular services of the health center, he says, are still being run, including the walk-in appointments for students in need of urgent attention. A student requiring such immediate care will almost always be seen on the same day. is was not the experience of Brit-
tany Snow, who went to the Health Centre on a Friday with a piece of glass in her foot. e secretary informed her that there was no one on-site who could remove it, legally. Another reason for students waiting a long time for appointments is matching their own schedules with the Health Centre’s hours, says Byrne. ose with the busiest day-time schedules will evidently face longer periods before the health center can accommodate them. Students may also be facing longer waiting times is for certain sexual health appointments, such as to get a pap-smear. Due to unavoidable personal circumstances, Crossman is working reduced hours this semester. e clinic is still operating for its regular hours; the university has hired another nurse for the time that Crossman is unavailable to ensure that students have access to health services. However, since both nurses diﬀer in their speciﬁc qualiﬁcations, some speciﬁc services, such as getting a pap-smear, are less speedily available. Currently, the waiting period for an appointment is one to two days to see the nurse, while the earliest ap-
pointments with the doctors are being scheduled for mid-November. Appointments for specialized pap-smears are already booking into December and January. “We do not believe and have not noticed any major changes to the delivery of our services this year compared to last,” says Byrne. “And we have not seen signiﬁcant strain increase that we are aware of in terms of our number tracking, even though we have had increased numbers of students. We haven’t seen a huge increase in demand on the Wellness Center either because of those numbers or H1N1.” Health care options in Sackville are limited. e only other places to access services are either the Sackville Memorial Hospital, or through a private practitioner. Otherwise students can go to the Amherst Hospital, the Moncton Hospital or the various walk-in clinics in Moncton. Information about these resources is available on the Mount Allison Health Center Website. For students without a car, this is a great deal more challenging. “Of course there is the whole deal with having one doctor per so many people in a community, but if Mount
A keeps increasing the population of that community [...] then why should the number of doctors stay the same?” asks Hollet. e Student Life oﬃce has increased its monitoring of health on campus due to H1N1 ﬂu this year. If the ﬂu were to become prominent on campus, the school says Byrne, would look into expanding the hours of operation for the clinic. at usage of the Health Center would remain the same despite a larger entering class this year, seems counterintuitive. One explanation of the discrepancy could be students who bypass the health center and go directly to the hospital. Several new students, who wish to remain unnamed, have heard their friends’ stories about wait times and say that they would rather wait at the emergency room, than wait several weeks to see a doctor on campus. If students feel that they aren’t receiving the care from the Health Center that they are entitled to, they need to contact the Student Life Oﬃce, says Byrne. “Within reason, we want to provide the best level of service.”
Working together for eight common goals
Social Justice groups collaborate on week-long event
“Great minds think alike,” while “two heads are better than one.” ese well-known proverbs are both being put into action here on campus as a range of social justice groups work together to bring the “Millennium Development Goals Week” to Mount Allison. e initiative is the largest collaborative eﬀort so far this year between the Sackville Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), the SAC, and campus-based groups. Together they have planned nine days of actions and events, ranging from movie showings to a trivia night, in hopes of raising awareness of the goals and their importance to individuals in both developed and developing countries. e week also serves to launch a long-term joint project between the diﬀerent social justice groups: establishing student support of Kiva, an online microﬁnance network. “Everyone came together for the biggest impact,” for the event as well as for the campaign, explains Rights and Democracy’s Charlotte Gleaver Riemann. “Kiva ﬁt with the Millennium Development Goal of a global partnership, because it’s a partnership between social justice groups at Mount Allison, as well as one between people all over the world,” she says. With Kiva, microloans in increments of $25.00 USD are delivered from individuals all over the world to borrowers in need of assistance for their entrepreneurial activities. e website’s staﬀ administer the transfers, which are passed out on the ground through accredited local microﬁnancing institutions. Upon repayment of the loan, the lender can choose whether to take back the money or to lend it to someone else. So far over $93, 000 USD have been raised globally by Kiva’s network of lenders.
Internet Photo/Hope of Afghanistan
Girls are especially disadvantaged with universal primary education.
See GROUPS page 4
Independent Student Journal of Mount Allison University
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