Better Choices New Mexico: Way 7 – Cuts to School Based Health Clinics

Posted on February 17, 2011

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The Cut: The total budget for the Office of School and Adolescent Health (OSAH) was cut by 15% for the current fiscal year and there is talk of another 20% cut in the new budget. About half of their budget funds school-based health centers (SBHCs). With the proposed cuts, OSAH might have to close as many as ten SBHCs entirely. Some SBHC hours have already been cut back to just one day a week.

The Consequences: SBHCs are crucial points of access to health care for youth in rural areas. Students with access to SBHCs received preventative care as well as referrals for more serious issues. SBHCs can save the state money in any number of ways: Students are more likely to get health care when it is more accessible on campus and they don’t have to miss a day of school to get it; And SBHCs staff can influence youths who are engaging in or considering high-risk behaviors such as illicit drug use and binge drinking.

According to a 2010 survey, more than 80% of students who are served by SBHCs say the centers have helped them make positive changes to their behavior-including changes related to substance abuse, better nutrition, and safe choices about sex.

 

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Posted in: Local News