The state of health services at the University have been slammed by angry students.
Students have spoken out to York Vision about their experiences with the Unity Health centre.
One third year politics student, Lisa Worthington, described her experience with the campus health service provider as: “worse than the time I got hit by a car.”
Some students claim they have had to wait for more than an hour outside in the cold before seeing a doctor.
Abigail Kempson, a first year Economics student, said: “I think it’s really bad if you are really ill you are expected to stand in the freezing cold for at least an hour.
“When I finally got to see a nurse she was really vague.
“I felt like she played down how ill I was and didn’t take me seriously at all.”
During term time, the practice is open from 8:30am till 6:00pm but students claim they are told to stand in line for an appointment at 8am if they want to be seen.
YUSU Community and Well-being Officer Scott Dawson said: “First of all I am very aware of the issue surrounding waiting time, particularly with the early morning drop in sessions.
“A few action points are currently happening or being developed.”
The YUSU Sabbatical Officer met with a focus group last Wednesday where students shared their concerns over the campus health service providers.
He said: “To get a greater understanding of the situation in the mornings I am going to be attending the early morning stay and wait this coming Friday (November 27).”
Unity Health bosses have said they see 45 unscheduled patients each weekday morning in their ‘stay & wait clinic’.
However, patients turning up after all these walk-in slots have been filled will normally be turned away.
Statistics obtained by York Vision show Unity Health saw 300 students at the stay and wait clinic in Week 7.
This does not include figures for regular appointments.
“In summary, the session brought these issues to the attention of Unity Health and they are now working closely on the problems and are keeping me in the loop with developments,” Scott Dawson said.
A first year Politics student said: “I called to make an appointment and they said I had to wait two weeks to see anyone, unless I went at 8am.
“I know it’s not their fault but the service is completely inadequate.
“Something needs to be done.”
A Unity Health spokesperson confirmed they were working with a Dawson on the “queue matter”.
He said: “We did discuss the wait for appointments at our Student Patient Participation Group meeting on campus last Wednesday.”
According to health officials, the wait for a pre-booked, non-urgent GP appointment is eight working days.
This means if students booked today at the time of going to print, they could not expect to see a health specialist until next Thursday, December 3.
“It is worth noting that the wait for appointments is affected by the number of patients who do not attend per booked appointments,” the spokesperson said, adding that, in October, 224 of 336 no-shows were students.
He said: “We do encourage patients to cancel appointments they no longer need to allow others to use them.”
University management have said they are working on plans to increase the capacity of healthcare providers on campus.
David Duncan, Registrar and Secretary, said: “We have planning permission for a new medical centre, pharmacy, mini supermarket and shops at the Field Lane entrance to the Heslington East campus.
“This will create more space for GP surgeries, which should in turn mean that patients can be seen more quickly.
“The plan is to convert the old medical centre on campus into a nursery for the children of staff and students.
“We are still finalising the building plans and hope to begin construction on site in the near future.”