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Wealth and Welfare


If it had to worry about sick students alone, the Hygiene Department might enjoy relative peace within the University's miniature bureaucracy. But the well ones are evidently just as inclined to complain to judge from the number of gripes each year piles up for the medical administrators.

Not that there is no justification at all for complaints about the service the Department is able to give. Students have contended that its doctors keep short or, at least, "inconvenient" hours, that they are sometimes not immediately available at emergencies and that Stillman Infirmary, which is a good distance off from the University community, is without an ambulance service for those too ill to crawl to its doors. Others have regretted the state of first-aid equipment the doctors have provided adjacent to athletic facilities.

This last complaint, the Hygiene Department admits, has had some basis. Officials, in fact, started an investigation of the problem of maintaining these aid supplies last fall and should soon have them in good condition.

The bigger problems cannot be solved so easily, however, since they all involve expenditure heavier than the Department thinks it can make. The Department is self-supporting within the University, paying its way on student medical fees alone. Doctors and ambulances cost money and the price, like most others, has risen. Fees, the officials argue, have not nearly kept up. Department administrators point out that they must budget carefully, since one epidemic could quite easily wreck any surplus on hand.

No one of course would like to recommend an increase in medical fees to cover longer hours for doctors and new equipment. The doctors themselves wonder if such expenditures would stop student complaints anyway. Part of the answer may be found in better administration, like the investigation of first aid facilities. But for the rest, the doctors may yet have to seek University help for diagnosis and prescription. Whether students would like the medicine is another question.

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