SCHOOL HEALTH CENTERS: Two Experts Debate How Prudent
In a San Francisco Chronicle editorial, Birt Harvey, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, urges the state Legislature to pass the School Health Centers bill ( AB 1363), which would establish school-based clinics in poor areas for the children of parents lacking health insurance. Such clinics, Harvey argues, would cut down on emergency room visits and provide adequate mental health services (8/30). But Dr. Katherine Dowling of the University of Southern California School of Medicine, in another Chronicle op-ed, writes that AB 1363 is "an attempt to erode the scope of parental authority." Dowling writes that the clinics, with their confidential records and set hours, could prevent parents and health care providers from accessing valuable information about their children's health in emergency situations. She also takes aim at a "humorous section of the bill" that puts children in charge of making payments and co-payments, and scoffs at the idea of holding a 6-year-old responsible for applicable fees (8/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.