Possible health fee increase for Dal students

Health clinic wants to boost the resources it offers to students

Dalhousie is considering an increase in its health services fee for students.

With an additional $8.25 per person, the university hopes to shift the emphasis of the health clinic from community and student health to predominately student health.

The fee increase will cover the cost of moving the health clinic from its current location beside Howe Hall to the new LeMarchant Street Mixed Use Building, which is still under construction. Doctors at the new location would have to ensure that at least 50 per cent of their regular patients are students.  Additionally, the fee increase would allow doctors to spend more time with each patient, approximately 30 minutes per person. In comparison, the current time per patient is usually 15 minutes.

Construction is underway on the LeMarchant Street Mixed Use Building

Other benefits of the potential fee increase include the addition of a full-time psychiatrist and a full-time physician dedicated solely to walk-in patients.

Sagar Jha, the Dalhousie Student Union President, says the university’s board of governors will ultimately decide whether or not to implement the new health services fee. Student representatives, including Jha, will provide the board of governors with student feedback before it makes its final decision.

In addition to the increase of $8.25, the board is also considering other smaller increases to the health services fee. These supplementary fees would allow the university to hire one full-time nurse practitioner and another full-time councillor. The cost breakdown of each new service or position is provided in the graph below.

A cost breakdown of the potential health fee increase at Dalhousie

Any student who wants to give his or her feedback about the potential fee increase can contact Student Services, a DSU executive member or a DSU council member. Students also have the option of attending the next DSU council meeting on Jan. 22 to voice their opinion.