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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 6. April 9, 1968

Insurance, health service — Proposals Discussed

Insurance, health service
Proposals Discussed

An insurance scheme and proposals relating to the development of the Student Health Service are being discussed by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Deans.

One of the proposals provides for a second full-time doctor who will join the service early in May, and a second nurse.

If the insurance scheme is adopted those students wishing to use the service will pay an insurance fee similar to the University of Canterbury where the charge is $2 a year.

"But as yet the University Council has received no recommendation from the committee." the Director of Student Welfare Services, Mr. I. H. Boyd said.

He told Salient it was unlikely any changes would he introduced this year.

At present students pay nothing for the general medical service.

The University contribution for 1968 has been estimated at $11,775.

"In 1964 it was about $1,000 Mr. Boyd said "This shows how successful the service has been."

When the scheme was first started the University did not expect a great success or the need to develop its services.

The cost of providing the service was now far above expectations.

The Health Department also contributed to the service— this year about $7,000.

"At the University of Canterbury the Health Department still provides the same contribution per service as at present." Mr. Boyd said.

The insurance scheme, if introduced, would be available to all students whose homes are outside the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua suburban areas but all firstyear students would still be offered a free medical interview.

Mr. Boyd said those who did not join the scheme would not be able to use the service, unless they paid at current rates—$1 every visit.

The student representative on the University Council Mr. John McGrath, would like to see a finance system where the cost would be as little as possible to students, prefer- rably remaining at nothing at all.

"But it now costing a lot of money" he said. "It is more important that the service be developed and that students make contributions rather than not develop the service"

He said fees at Victoria were the lowest of the large universities in New Zealand and an insurance scheme could he take in the manner of compulsory student union fee.

"In 1968 the use of our service will reach a maximum and further expansion will be governed by student population increase," the Medical Director of Student Health, Dr. I. C. Fleming said.

He said the university's first endeavour should be to fully examine its responsibilities and determine whether it was making the most effective use of resources.

The Student Association president, Mr. Dan Bradshaw, said Exectuive had not made a decision but would do so when the council came forward with something definite.

"We have to face the fact that we do need an extra doctor. We have no option but to look round for the best way to pay for him."

He said he would rather see extra finance collected on an insurance basis than as part of Student Asociation fees.