Photo: epSos .de / Flickr

Petition launched to save campus pharmacy

Warwick Students’ Union (SU) has launched a petition against the proposed closure of the pharmacy in the SU Atrium.

M W Philips Chemists could face closure as the local NHS Area Team feel that the pharmacy is not used frequently enough.

The local NHS Area Team also believes that campus is well provided with other pharmacies within a close proximity of the university.

In response, the SU held a ‘town hall’ meeting on Friday 6 March in The Graduate to discuss and gather student views regarding the matter, as well as to decide what action the SU may wish to pursue.

Concerns regarding the accessibility of pharmacy facilities in the event of closure were raised.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I have used that pharmacy before when I was ill and I could not physically leave campus to get any other medication.”

“If it closes down then I personally think students’ overall health will decrease because they won’t have that easy access to medical care plus not everyone wants to pay for buses into Coventry or Leamington to pick up prescriptions so it will discourage people more [from getting perscriptions]”

“Plus, last year Mumps spread around campus which is actually really contagious and dangerous so to deal with outbreaks like this we need on campus medical care.”

The student also drew attention to the importance of the pharmacy for students’ sexual health:

Being able to pick up antibiotics for a chlamydia infection needs to be accessible, and chlamydia is a really easily treated disease but if left undiagnosed/untreated then it can cause female infertility in the long run.”

Issues raised also included accessibility for those with reduced mobility and those for whom a longer journey to another location in times of illness would be impractical.

Sam Fry, outgoing president of Warwick Enable, said: “If it were to be closed then people would have to travel several miles to get a prescription, which is particularly bad for disabled students who disproportionately live on campus.”

The SU Welfare officer, Bebe Husakova, commented:”The Sabbatical Officer team share the concerns of many students on this issue, and believe that the decision to close the Pharmacy was based on incorrect assumptions regarding the proximity and ease of access of nearby alternatives.

“Those with partial mobility or visual impairments in particular may struggle with no car, a potential 2-mile walk and a dangerous dual carriageway to cross to get to Cannon Park – particularly since times of illness can exacerbate these symptoms.”

She added: “Setting up an online petition was a way of gathering evidence as to how many students care about this issue and highlighting the significance of the situation. The Sabb team is absolutely adamant that we will do everything in our power to retain a Pharmacy on campus, and setting up the petition was a step towards achieving this goal.”

Following the meeting, the SU began a petition with the aims of raising awareness of the issue. Over 600 students have already signed this petition.

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