In late January 2017, Quebec passed a law that made extra medical fees for services covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) illegal. Because of this law, Student Health Services can no longer provide some vaccines to students. The vaccines affected are:
- Flu shot for certain groups (Some students remain eligible. Click to see if you can receive the vaccine free of charge[LDM1] )
- HPV vaccine for certain groups (Some students remain eligible. Click to see if you can receive the vaccine free of charge[LDM2] )
- Meningitis vaccine
- Hepatitis A and B vaccines (Some students remain eligible. Click to see if you can receive the vaccine free of charge)[LDM3]
Even though Student Services was providing and administering these vaccines at cost (there was no price markup), the new law makes any user fee illegal. Doctors who defy the legislation face fines ranging from $15,000 to $150,000. [DSM4]
Efforts Being Made to Have Law Modified
With the aim of getting the new rules eased, McGill continues to express its concerns to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The government has acknowledged that the legislation is too restrictive and they are in the process of revising the rules. Students will be informed if the law is modified and when Student Health Services can resume providing these vaccines to the entire student body.
You Can Still Obtain These Vaccines
Students who want these vaccines can still make an appointment in Student Services. They will meet with a physician who will give them a prescription. The student can then go to a pharmacy to:
- Obtain and have the vaccine administered by a nurse at the pharmacy (To find a pharmacy or vaccination clinic near checkout vaccines411)
- They can obtain the vaccine and bring it to Student Health Services to have it administered by a nurse via a booked nursing appointment. If you choose to have it administered by Student Health Services, it is essential to follow any refrigeration requirements in order to maintain the vaccine’s viability.
Travel Vaccines Still Available at Cost
Travel vaccines are not covered by RAMQ and are therefore still available in Student Health Services for a fee. The cost of these vaccines is passed along to students with no price markup. If you plan to travel to places where vaccines might be desirable or required, you should make an appointment in Student Health Services at least eight weeks prior to your departure. You’ll meet with one of our nurses trained in travel health.
The nurse will determine your risk factors for certain preventable diseases in accordance with the chosen destination, length of stay, type of trip and your medical and immunization history. The nurse will also recommend vaccinations and medication to ensure the best possible protection during your stay abroad.
Health Science Students
Health science students who need certain vaccines in order to complete hospital-based electives can still obtain these vaccines in Student Health Services. The cost of these vaccines is passed along to students with no price markup. To obtain these vaccines, please make an appointment with a nurse via a booked nursing appointment in Student Health Services at least eight weeks prior to the start of your elective.
Health Science Students and Flu Vaccine
In addition, we will once again organize flu shot clinics for health science students, stay tuned for exact dates, times and locations.