Volume 92, Issue 35

Thursday, November 5, 1998

a little bit louder now


An unhealthy situation

Confusion in the form of misinformation, paper shuffling and unorganization surrounds the student health plan. No one is quite sure if changes have been made to the drug formulary, which lists the types of drugs covered, what those changes were, if they did occur and if those mysterious changes have been reversed.

Ever since Western decided to join a campus trust, formed recently with Acadia and Memorial universities and organized by the Student Benefits Trust Administrators, problems have abounded.

That is not to say that the joint venture of these three schools in forming the trust does not have its benefits. The problem lies in the fact that it is presently causing students more trouble than the advantages may provide for the health plan as a whole.

Students are demonstrating concern as to which drugs will be covered by their health plan. Doctors at student health services, as well as the pharmacy located in the University Community Centre, are hearing different things on the changes to the formulary almost daily. If these bodies, which are directly involved in the student health plan, cannot agree, students are not going to receive the best service possible.

Students pay quite a bit of money for health coverage – for supposedly one of the best health plans in the province – and what has happened with it this year has the makings of an administrative disaster, if not soon rectified. The University Students' Council, as the health plan's administrator, has the obligation to make sure the service is what it should be. Having physicians arguing with the USC is not only counterproductive, childish and a waste of time and resources, it is plain unnecessary.

Squabbling between the USC and university health-care workers should not be happening. The USC needs to get its act together to solve the problem – which is as easy as sending a memo to inform everyone involved as to what the truth is.

There is something definitely wrong with the lines of communication when something like this happens. And who becomes the victims? The innocent third party – the students.

Students need to know what is really going on with something for which they paid $91.99 and depend on to meet their health needs. They didn't shell out that money to be screwed around by administrative mishandling.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazette.editor@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998