The doctor is not in

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By Marie Clark 

A Ryerson student was told to come back and make an appointment after trying to get the morning-after pill from the campus Health Centre last week.

The third-year journalism student’s experience has left many Ryerson students question if the Health Clinic is understaffed.

“Patients are seen based on appointments, except in the case of emergencies,” said Philip Lim, one of the clinic’s doctors.

Lim said that the clinic was short-staffed because one of the doctors was sick.

“If one doctor calling in sick makes them understaffed, then they need more doctors so that (one doctor’s absence) won’t leave them turning students away,” said the third-year student, who didn’t want to be named.

Morning-after pills are used as a form of birth control after unprotected sex. The pills effectiveness decreases the further after unprotected sex it is taken. After 72 hours, the pill is useless.

“It took five minutes,” the third-year student said. “Did they really need an appointment?”

Last November another Ryerson student went though her own day of hell when she almost died while waiting in the Health Clinic for a doctor.

Rebecca Reed, a third-year journalism student, was rushed to the Health Clinic after collapsing in a stairwell in the Rogers Communication Center. Ryerson Security alerted the Clinic before wheeling her to the waiting room, where she watched as three students who had appointments saw doctors before her.

When she finally saw a Ryerson doctor, Reed was told to go straight to the hospital.

Doctors at the hospital shook their heads upon hearing of her wait at the health clinic, Reed says. They also told her that she was lucky to be alive.

“I didn’t have the strength to say anything to the receptionist because I was too busy concentrating on breathing,” said Reed. “I was starting to panic because I knew something was wrong. I felt completely helpless.”

It was discovered at the hospital that Reed had had a pulmonary embolism. Blood clots had traveled from her legs to her heart and lungs which could have killed her if not discovered in time.

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