Health Services policy spurs sick not troubles

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Abuse concerns drive medical note reform”
March 26, 2009

To the editor:
The professors who are reviewing the university’s sick note policy would be well advised to look at why so many sick notes come from walk-in clinics, in particular the Oxford Medical Walk-In Clinic.

Being a student who in the past has needed to use a sick note to get out of an exam, I understand perfectly. Student Health Services will not write sick notes unless they are for long-term illnesses that result in missing many classes.

Instead you have to file a waiver allowing the powers that be (be they your academic counselor or possibly your professor) to review your medical files and speak with your physician to determine if you really are sick.

You can understand how this can feel invasive. With a note from a doctor, this whole demeaning step can be avoided. Many students coming from outside London, and many without family doctors due to the current state of our health-care system, are left to go to walk-in clinics.

If notes from a walk-in clinic are really such a problem, then Western should change SHS’ invasive policies. Students who are legitimately ill do not need to feel like Big Brother is watching when they simply need to move a test for a few days while they recover.
"Jordan Drew
Political Science IV

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