If one were to Google “Boynton Health Service hours” over the weekend, the result plastered across the top of the screen would say “Closed.” The primary health care provider at the University of Minnesota shuts its doors to students every weekend.
But students get sick every day of the week. Right now, those who fall ill from Friday night to Sunday must rely on emergency options to treat their ailments.
This is particularly problematic because weekend emergency care options often have limited staff. A study by the British Medical Journal found that, because of reduced support services, weekend care yields higher risks for patient death.
While most students at the University won’t experience problems of this severity, it is clear that patients’ quality of care decreases when weekend care is limited.
Further, many students at the University have busy academic schedules. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment during the week may require students to miss class or work, depending on waitlists. A more reliable weekend option would provide students the opportunity to receive quality health care without forcing them to compromise their week’s academic workload.
While the University provides weekend alternatives to Boynton — including nearby hospitals and mental health hotlines — our campus clinic’s primary job is to serve its students. A portion of our student services fees supports Boynton, after all.
We urge the University to formalize weekend hours for Boynton and to ensure the clinic has enough weekend staff to guarantee the health of students on campus.