After more than two years, U of R to have campus clinic

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If only the university put as much into student care as they do signage #stillbitter Morgan Ortman

The nurse practitioner will see you now

University of Regina students will once again have a medical clinic on campus with the opening of the Student Wellness Centre. Located on the main floor of Paswaw Tower, the clinic is currently open 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday. The campus has been without a medical clinic since the Dr. Paul Schwann Centre closed in June 2019. The clinic is staffed by nurse practitioners who can make diagnoses, provide prescription refills, refer patients to specialists, and order tests. Along with general medical care like treatment for coughs and colds, contraceptives, and minor injuries, students can access pelvic exams and mental health referrals.

The return of a clinic to campus is a welcome one, given that it’s difficult to find a family physician in the city, and many people have to resort to walk-in clinics where they may find themselves explaining their medical history again and again to a different doctor every time. Hammad Ali, who has a chronic medical condition and used the Schwann Centre as his primary physician’s office before it closed, said that the old clinic benefitted him. Since the centre closed, Ali said he’s had to travel to the clinic in Harbour Landing, something he “hates doing” in the winter months. “When the old clinic was in place, I was able to schedule my periodic appointments in the middle of the day when I had a break from classes,” Ali said. “Now it’s a half day to see my doctor.”

The clinic is not just for emergencies, and as long as students are registered at the university, they can access the clinic services very similarly to the way they would access a general practitioner. Maureen Klenk, the Associate Dean of Student Wellness said, “If you’re a student at the University of Regina, you can come here for your healthcare needs for the entire time you’re registered as a student.” Students do not need to have a Saskatchewan health number to access services, and virtual and face-to-face appointments are available. 

There are currently four nurse practitioners working at the site, although not all full time. “We’re starting small to see the need,” Klenk said, “And then we’ll ramp up if needed.” Students can also access mental healthcare at the facility, and the nurse practitioners can refer them to more robust services. “People may feel more comfortable coming here to disclose and we can refer them to counselling, as well as potentially provide temporary mental health care until they can get in to see someone else,” Klenk said. 

While Ali doesn’t think that the current clinic as it is will be able to “address all [his] concerns,” he says he’s glad there’s something on campus once again. Given the state of transit in the city, and the fact that Regina is currently in the grips of its worst-yet wave of COVID-19, being able to access healthcare on campus will be a huge benefit for students.

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