Ut Student Clinic to Shut down During Breaks

University of Toledo students will no longer receive health-care services on the main campus during the summer or school breaks.

The university announced Friday its plans to shutter Student Health Services, located in the Main Campus Medical Center on West Rocket Drive, during the summer term and during fall, winter, and spring breaks as well as reduce its hours of operation the rest of the year.

The University of Toledo Main Campus Medical Center on West Rocket Drive will no longer provide student health services during summer or during fall, winter, and spring breaks. The UT Physicians Family medicine practice, located in the same building, will close permanently June 19.

The decision was prompted by “low usage” at times when many students leave campus, according to a UT statement.

On June 19, UT also will permanently close the UT Physicians Family Medicine practice located in the same building. That practice offers primary care for students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Closing the practice and periodically shutting down the student health office will save an estimated $500,000. The move follows a series of cost-saving steps taken by UT in recent weeks, including offering buyouts and announcing it will cease all but essential operations during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. University officials are anticipating another tight budget for the fiscal year that begins in July.

The union that represents some employees who work at the Main Campus Medical Center criticized the latest announcement and its timing on the last day of the spring semester.

Student Health Services at the main campus will close this month and reopen at the start of the fall semester with reduced hours of operation, the university said. The new hours when classes are in session will be from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

Students who need medical care when the office is closed can go to a wellness center at the university’s Health Science Campus, located about three miles away.

“This is a cost-saving measure because patient visits often drop to less than 10 encounters per day during these times,” said Dr. Linda Speer, interim chief medical officer of the University of Toledo Medical Center — the hospital at the former Medical College of Ohio — in a written statement. “There are insufficient patient visits to warrant keeping it open, and we have excellent facilities available to serve students on the Health Science Campus.”

The Communication Workers of America Local 4319 president Bob Hull met with UT officials Friday about the changes, but he said the meeting ended after the union brought up questions about what UT is contractually allowed to do to employees in the bargaining unit.

Mr. Hull said UT planned to lay off or reduce the hours of employees, but the contract prevents cutting workers’ wages if their work is done by someone else.

The union represents about nine employees who work at the center, including clerical staff, nurses, and nursing technicians, he said. It is in contract talks with UT.

UT spokesman Christine Billau said six people will be “impacted” by the Student Health Services changes.

Mr. Hull said the university’s decision also shows “no concern” for students, including international students who remain on the main campus throughout the year. The medical center on the main campus is located across the street from the Horton International House residence hall.

Two doctors who practice at the family medicine location within the center will shift to other UT Physician sites on Regency Court and Glendale Avenue.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.