College students in the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas will soon be heading back to school, but late nights and close quarters in dorms are breeding grounds for illnesses. When a student is sick, their first stop is usually the college’s medical center. However, the care at these centers is often lacking.

Medical care at on-campus facilities may be inadequate

The Washington Post reviewed student health services in approximately 1,700 four-year residential campuses. It found that students often had to wait days or even weeks for an appointment at a campus health care facility. The Washington Post reported that dozens of students needed hospitalization due to errors or misdiagnoses made at these campus facilities. It was also found that students — especially those on Medicaid — declined to pursue medical care because it was too expensive.

One part of the problem is that student health centers are not regulated nationally and often do not need state licensure to operate. The Washington Post reports that of the clinics studied, only approximately 220 of them were accredited by third-party health organizations as fulfilling best medical practices. Moreover, nearly 75% of these health clinics are not open on weekends, and two-thirds did not have evening hours on weekdays, times when students may need care and are unable to receive it.

Pursuing a claim following negligent medical care

Student health centers should be safe places for college students to go when they are ill. Unfortunately, many may only provide minimal or even unsafe care. When a student in Pennsylvania falls ill and receives a misdiagnosis or negligent care at a college medical center, they may want to take the steps necessary to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim.