Student Health Center offers help to students

The Weber State University Student Health Center, located in Room 190 of the Student Services Building, is a medical resource that’s been available to students for decades.

The Student Health Center is where WSU students can go to seek medical attention without the stress of having to deal with co-pays or enormous hospital bills. The center offers a wide variety of medical services, including minor surgery, flu shots, contraception, pregnancy testing, pap smears, diet consultations, minor suturing, physical examinations, clinical medical care and X-rays, all paid for with student tuition. There is no cost to get in to see the doctor, regardless of whether or not a student has health insurance. A student receiving medical services at the Student Health Center can expect to only pay a small fee for any X-rays or lab work performed. The cost for X-rays is only $25, compared to a minimum of $290 at the average hospital or clinic.

The Student Health Center also provides a range of prescriptions for low prices.

“Not always, but many times, prescriptions are even cheaper than the $4 prescription deals you get at other pharmacies,” said lab technician Debbie Schiffman. “Even when they cost more, the convenience of having your prescriptions filled and paying $2 more is usually better than driving to a pharmacy.”

This is an enormous change from the student health insurance WSU provided before 2003, when the costs of premiums rapidly escalated due to the lack of participation from other universities.

“It works great when all the schools participate, but without the numbers, the premiums are way too high,” said Juliana Larsen, an employee of the Student Health Center for 29 years. “According to the national average, 30-35 percent of students are uninsured or under-insured. No national health care system is perfect. There is not one simple answer.”

Having the health center as a campus resource helps many students avoid choosing between suffering through illnesses or paying large sums for doctor visits. However, many WSU students admit they did not know of the health center or had never been.

One student said anonymously that she had heard of the health center before, but never thought it would offer sufficient care.

“I have no health insurance, but I’m just so used to not being able to afford to go the doctor that I guess it never crossed my mind to go,” she said. “In the past, my only real option if I got something like a bladder infection was to go to the emergency room. That adds up, so I’m glad that I know now that I can go to the health center for things like that.”

According to Larsen, the health center received approximately 7,000 visits last academic year.

“We do as best we can to meet everyone’s needs,” she said. “If you need medical care for any reason short of an emergency, call here first and ask if we can help you. It may save you $300.”