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Uncertainty Over Student Health Service Costs

The cost of using the University of Otago’s Student Health Service appears uncertain as students wait for the Government to exempt student health levies from the fee freeze. The government is currently considering whether it will exempt the Health Service from the fee freeze deal and allow it to increase its levy.

“Students would rather pay for the Health Service in a levy rather than have to find the money for each visit. It’s quite different from tuition fees and the government must recognize this,” said Otago University Students’ Association President Ayesha Verrall.

“It seems ridiculous to allow a policy designed to improve access to education make education support services less accessible to students,” said Ms Verrall.

“I’ve received a clear indication from students that they don’t want an increase in the charge per visit. An increased charge would make the service inaccessible to many students, particularly those needing ongoing treatment or counseling,” said Ms Verrall.

“It would be disappointing if many student lost access to such an important service because the government could not adapt its hard-line position on the fee freeze,” said Ms Verrall.

The Student Health User Part Charge remained at $5 for 2001 following a one off contribution from the University and OUSA.

ENDS

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