Opinions & Editorials

Improvements Need to be Made in Health Services

JESSICA RISOLO

GUEST WRITER

Recently, the Health Services Center was moved into an elevator suite on the 5th floor of East Hill and despite the previous misunderstanding with the office, I went on a Saturday morning when I was sick with a somewhat severe cough and cold.

The sign on the suite said Health Services but there was no information regarding hours of business or contact information. Checking my phone, I realized that the center is not even open on weekends, something I had forgotten since my last visit.

About two weeks into my freshman year I began to feel very sick and had extreme pain in both of my ears. The pain was so distracting that I sought medical attention through Manhattan College’s Health Services Center. I went to Health Services and was prescribed Flonase, nasal spray. Despite being told that I had a double ear infection, I was not given instructions to take antibiotics of any sort and was told nasal spray would help even though to my knowledge it does nothing to eradicate infections.

Fortunately, I live only about 35 minutes away from campus and was able to go to a clinic near my home that weekend where my doctor prescribed me antibiotics immediately. I was better within a few days because I was taking the proper medicine for an infection.

I understand that Manhattan students have the advantage of being surrounded by the Bronx and New York City, which allows us to leave campus and run errands relatively easily. It seems that the assumption here is that in non-emergency situations, students have the option to go to the surrounding area to visit a doctor if the health services office is closed.

That being said, students still pay to go here and utilize all of the school’s resources to the fullest. A student who gets sick after the office closes at 4 in the afternoon on a weekday or at any time on the weekend should not be expected to go off campus when feeling ill to go to a doctor. That’s an unreasonable and unsafe expectation of students, especially those who are feeling very ill and run the risk of suddenly passing out or getting sick when they are not on campus grounds.

Interestingly, the athletic training center is open until 7 every weeknight. I doubt a student with a sprained ankle would be expected to walk to a physical therapist off campus so why would a student with a flu be expected to?

Tuition and fees at this school are too steep to be denied important resources such as easy access to medical help on campus. Granted, the 140 dollars per year Health Services fee is not obscene but it is still a significant amount of money to be paying, especially for hours that are paltry in comparison to other schools. Many other colleges throughout the country have health services centers that are open 24/7. While this is may not be a feasible option for Manhattan, I believe that extending the weekday hours and/or adding weekend hours would benefit the students greatly.