University Health Services does more than simply 'cure' first-years who may have dined at the Union, the organization's director said yesterday to a group of graduate students.
Dr. David S. Rosenthal '59, Director of University Health Services (UHS), spoke informally at a Dudley House seminar sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Health Advisory Committee.
Rosenthal focused his remarks on a general history of and an update on University health care. In particular, he discussed the individual concerns of graduate students.
"The average graduate school student utilizes three and a half visits a year," Rosenthal told a gathering of about ten graduate students and staff.
All students enrolled in the University are required to pay an annual fee of $636 for general health care access. Although this mandatory fee rose at a faster rate than tuition in the 1980s, it is currently under the tuition escalation rate, Rosenthal said.
In addition, students are encouraged to purchase Harvard Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rosenthal said. This insurance plan currently costs $600 per year and will drop to $566 next year, he said.
Due to "the influx of foreign students" and "increases in dental problems," Rosenthal said he is "looking to develop a dental program to start next year."
"Everyone would have to take part in the plan, even if some people do not take advantage of the services," he said. "In order for the plan to work, it must be mandatory for all."
Currently, Blue Cross Blue Shield covers major dental work, but not minor dental problems. To implement a dental plan, Rosenthal said he will need the support of the Harvard administration.
Additional possible future changes in UHS include prescriptive and optical improvements, as well as a student H.M.O., Rosenthal said.
"As of now, students must reach $750 before the dental insurance kicks in," he said. "I want to improve this."
Rosenthal said that in his five years at UHS one of his greatest successes has been the implementation of a Primary Care Physician Program.
"Eighty to ninety percent of students and staff were seen on a walk-in basis. They came in, took a number, and waited two to three hours, unless there was an emergency," he said. "Now there is access and continuity. Everyone can register for a 'contact' name and develop an association with a clinician who knows your history."
Rosenthal said that another of his goals is to implement the program for graduate students in addition to the undergraduates who presently participate.
Rosenthal said he hopes to extend appointments into the evenings. Already, the dental division is open until 8 p.m. twice a week and is open every Saturday morning.
When Rosenthal opened the discussion to the graduate school students, he said patients can present suggestions to improve student health services by working through a "patient advocate."
The patient advocate provides assistance for patients who encounter difficulties or problems with the UHS system and can be reached at 495-7583. In addition, patient satisfaction surveys are available on each floor of UHS.
Rosenthal said he is also available for assistance in special circum- UHS has four facilities: a main branch open 24hours a day at the Holyoke Center, which includesthe Stillman lnfirmary, an eighteen-bed hospital,and satellite branches at the Law, Medical andBusiness Schools. It serves 20,000 students and 40 percent ofUniversity faculty and staff
UHS has four facilities: a main branch open 24hours a day at the Holyoke Center, which includesthe Stillman lnfirmary, an eighteen-bed hospital,and satellite branches at the Law, Medical andBusiness Schools.
It serves 20,000 students and 40 percent ofUniversity faculty and staff