The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Health Center offers free tests

Imagine you are sick with the flu and you need some serious medical attention as soon as possible. You could call a doctor and set up an appointment, but then you would miss class, wait for hours just to be seen and possibly have to come back and do it all over again.

That is just one scenario students go through on a regular basis. What students may not know is instead of missing class, EC has its own Health Center that is free to students.

“A large percentage of our students have absolutely no idea that we have a full service Health Center here on campus,” Debbie Conover, coordinator of the student health services, said.

“Many students (who do know) have the impression that we are like the health office that they had in high school,” Conover said.

That is definitely not the case here. The Health Center has a lot of services offered to all students, with an average wait time of only five to 15 minutes. They offer services such as lab work, blood pressure, blood tests, immunizations, STD testing, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services.

“The advantage of having the Health Center is the low-cost and free services that are available,” Conover said.

Another fact students may not know is they are paying for the Health Center when they enroll in classes.

There is a mandatory $14 health fee that is required by the state of California. It pays for the Health Center’s expenses and serves the students as well. All a student needs is an ID showing current enrollment. Students do not need health insurance.

“There is a large majority of students who can’t pay the health fee, so they have their fee waived,” Conover said. “But we still provide the same services for those students.”

“We used to be reimbursed for those students who weren’t able to pay, but over the last couple of years, there has been a new law and we do not receive the reimbursement, but we still operate and take care of them,” Conover said.

Among the staff, there are professional medical doctors, physicians, chiropractors, psychologists and nurse and family practitioners. The Health Center operates on the same laws and regulations as hospitals and everything is strictly confidential.

“I like the Health Center because it is convenient for students,” Mary Tran, a pre-pharmacy major, said. “They are really helpful and give you useful information.”

“They make you comfortable,” Tran said. “College students really need that because you might not have time to go elsewhere.”

There are walk-ins and appointments available, as well as dozens of free workshops students can attend. Low-cost medications and prescriptions for various conditions ranging from allergies and asthma to birth control are available.

“I would love for every student to know that we are here,” Conover said. “I would hate for the Health Center to be gone before we are missed.”

Interested persons may reach the Health Center at (310) 660-3643.

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