The DCU health service for students isn’t funded as much as they should be, according to Students’ Union President, Aaron Clogher.
Clogher was speaking about the 100 per cent increase in the doctors fee at the Class Rep Council meeting held last week.
Clogher said the increase was due to budgetary constraints meaning the service could not operate on the same terms as in previous years.
The Executive were faced with either reducing the number of days doctors are available on campus or increasing the fee students had to pay to visit the doctor. Clogher said that from his perspective, not having a doctor on campus would be detrimental to students who urgently need to see a doctor.
The fee for the on-campus doctor based in the Henry Grattan has increased from €10 last year to €20 this year.
Clogher couldn’t give much details on the decision process which led to the increase as much of what’s discussed at Executive meetings is confidential.
The College View highlighted in our last issue the on-campus doctor does not see students under the General Medical Services (GMS) scheme and students with medical cards must also pay the €20 doctors fee.
DCU students with medical cards who visit the DCU doctor and are prescribed medication can’t have their prescription prescribed to them on the medical card and are instead given it on a private prescription. They must pay the full price for the medication, instead of the €1.50 charge per item, a charge which will be increased to €2.50 per item from January.
Clogher said he couldn’t think of the reason for this but that it had something to do with it working out better for either the students or the health service, “It’s better anyway that the medical card isn’t accepted by doctors on campus.”
For students who are medical card holders and are unable to travel home to their own doctor, however, Clogher said there are agreements in place with some local doctors who will see students on their medical card and prescribe them medication on their medical card.