University Health Services (UHS) reduced the number of beds in Stillman infirmany by almost 30 per cent last week.
Eight rooms on the fifth floor of Stillman, the UHS in-patient facility, have been "temporaraily" converted to office and consulting room space, reducing the number of beds from 46 to 33, Kathryn A. Angell '74, assistant director for ambulatory care at UHS, said yesterday.
Less than half of the beds in the infirmary have been full most days during the past few years, and unless demand for beds increases, the change will be permanent, Angell added.
Despite the smaller number of beds, Stillman will have no trouble providing beds for all who need them because "students get priority at all times," she said, adding. "In an emergency we have other resources to turn to. We will never turn anyone away."
Less Time in Bed
Stillman has been getting emptier because members of the Harvard community, like most Americans, are being hospitalized less each year, Dr. Sholem Postel, deputy director of UHS, said yesterday. He added, "It's a trend at colleges everywhere, and in most hospitals too."
The removal of beds will allow several UHS departments to expand, Angell said.
The Obstetrics and Gynecology Department will occupy four of the newly empty rooms on the fifth floor. That department's former space on other floors will be used for an expansion of the walk-in and pediatric clinics, Angell added.
The changes will have no direct effect on the size of the medical and nursing staffs at UHS, she said.