Students not paying fee limits Health Center services

Director of the Health Center Beth Benne poses for a photograph in the Heath Office On Aug. 29, 2012. Benne confirmed that the health center cannot medically diagnose on Friday due to budget cuts cutting out all medical practioners on Fridays. 8/29/2012 Photo: Jasson Bautista

 

 

Health fee revenue loss has reduced the Pierce College Student Health Center’s budget by one hundred thousand dollars this year after already taking an eighty thousand dollar funding cut, according to Health Center director Beth Benne.

 

The center provides on-campus medical services to Pierce College students at a very low price.

 

“The rule of thumb here at the Health Center is: if we put something in you or take something out, there will be no additional cost,” Benne said.

 

The campus agency offers confidential, low-cost service like any regular clinic, but is only funded through the enrollment of students who pay their required health fee during enrollment of classes.

 

Students simply are not paying this fee, and it is severely limiting the center’s ability to provide the services expected, according to Benne.

 

“Physicians work schedules have been cut down by twenty percent, as well as practitioners by forty percent”, said Benne.

 

The Student Health Center expected their budget to be around $500,000 during 2011-2012,  of which only $420,000 was allocated.

 

“Our budget is only funded through students who pay their health fees, and with student drop outs and transfers, our budget took a hit.” said Benne.

 

It is more of the same for people already feeling the crushing blows of budget cuts at Pierce.

Fridays are now limited service days for students who seek TB testings, readings, and also first aid, according to Benne.

 

“Due to the reduction of staff, they have eliminated the ability to diagnose and treat illnesses on Fridays”, said Benne.

“There has been an overflow of students at Pierce,” Health Center employee Bonnie Zahavi said.”With the limited time of our staff, we slowed down.”

 

The revenue decrease has not stopped the health center from providing medical care to students, according to Zahavi.

 

“We still provide our services, and will continue to care for the needs of our students’ health here at Pierce.” said Zahavi.

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