Tell Us Why

UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICES (UHS) is the subject of constant student complaints. Stories of long lines, misdiagnosis, and poor treatment abound. These gripes are generally the murmurings of the dissatisfied and the indisposed, who find that institutionalized medical care can't match the standards established by Mom, Dad and the genial family doctor.

On Friday, however, a freshman claimed that she found a new problem in Holyoke Center. On April 13, after cutting herself with a kitchen knife, she went to the emergency room at 4 a.m. and found the doors locked. She plans to file a formal complaint today.

At the very least, UHS owes her and the rest of its patient community an immediate explanation to reassure those who rely on it for emergency care that it is open all of the time. The potential danger of finding the emergency roomed locked and unstaffed is obvious and quite frightening.

UHS seems to be treating this incident seriously and has already launched an investigation. That's good, but in the wake of this glaring lapse the onus is on UHS to demonstrate that it is not the uncaring, bureaucratic beast its student-critics claim. A timely and meaningful explanation of the events of April 13 is imperative. We deserve one.