Sitting in our own backyard is the key to solving the health care issue of our nation. Northridge’s student health care is supreme in its execution and lawmakers should look at us to model how to fix the problem of the lack of decent health care that many of us face.
The rise of the cost of health care for individuals has gone up significantly, so many low-income families find it difficult to have preventive care. Not only is the cost high, but clinics are time stealers that set up a universal appointment for 10 to 15 people at once. Low-income workers who cannot afford to take off time from work, cannot sit in a room with people sick and hacking for the good part of two hours.
This means that more than likely the only care one receives is when one’s life is threatened. In the study of Care of Children and Adolescents in U.S. Hospitals, “Over half of children’s admissions from low income areas are through the ED (Emergency Department).” It goes without saying that emergency care costs are greatly higher, and the average cost of hospitalization of a minor is approximately $11,000.
At CSUN’s Student Health Center, if you are sick, someone will see you that day. No appointment necessary. For follow-ups, appointments are given a week a way, not the usual several weeks to over a month time lapse. They do not accept health insurance, as costs are completely taken care of by the university and the state. You will be received by a doctor or nurse practitioner that truly cares about your well being, and who is not just making sure that he or she drums up enough business or is dealing with the bureaucracy of the insurance companies.
A patient will be asked questions, made to feel comfortable and diagnosed. The patient then, depending on their need, walks down the hall to find the lab, which takes the necessary tests. You pay what the university pays for the cost of the test, no more. If you cannot afford the cost, you can speak with the cashier, and something will be worked out for you.
When I visited the offices myself, I heard a tour guide telling some students not to worry if they could not afford the health care, because health care was more important than money and something would be worked out. She added she didn’t want anyone at school to feel as if they had nowhere to go.
What a crazy idea. Healthcare for everyone, who could have ever thought of such a concept? We can listen to all the debates by politicians on how this should be handled, but we don’t need to look any further. CSUN’s attitude is that preventative medicine is just that preventative. The better one is taken care of year round, the less sick they will become. Which in turn means less money spent and, more importantly, less mortality.
We should not be gambling with our greatest asset, our health. Why can’t the greatest country in the world provide health care to all of its citizens? There is no reason, except that health care is such a booming industry. Shouldn’t we care more about our people than some rich guys making a buck off of our illnesses? How could anyone turn a sick person away, or a person who is looking for preventative care, when we have the ability to help them? Is it because we don’t look in their eyes, and only at their wallets?
At the student health center you will be seen as you should always be seen, as a person. If you have not had the pleasure of visiting our health center, I encourage you to do so. You will find that there is everything for your needs, including dermatology, ophthalmology, pap smears and free HIV testing. Take advantage of your time here, because once you get out it’s a totally different world and you better pray you don’t catch a cold.
Amy De Vore is a junior journalism major.