The University Medical Centre has currently suspended all appointments due to COVID-19. It is undebatable that in-person appointments should not be conducted until it is safe to do so, however currently the Medical Centre is offering no bookable phone appointments either.
In order to speak to a doctor you must ring the Surgery before 9am to request a callback from a doctor. This callback can happen at any point during the day, meaning that students must either wait until they have an entire day free, or risk missing parts of lectures and meetings to speak with a doctor.
When on-campus teaching begins again this will become even more of an issue, as students would have to decide between not going onto campus until the doctor has called, or risking being heard talking about potentially sensitive issues by other students and staff. Many students have important in-person commitments (such as labs) for several days running, and some of these students may delay seeking care until they are able to do so in private.
This issue could easily be resolved by introducing a system allowing patients to book a slot to receive a call from the doctor - perhaps similar to how on-campus COVID testing is run.
This would mean that patients could plan their phone appointment at a time convenient to them.
If an appointment booking policy was implemented by the Medical Centre, students would not have to leave teaching sessions and other important commitments to speak to a Doctor. This would significantly reduce the impact of illness on a student’s studies.