More than 70,000 Victorian students will have regular access to a doctor and the healthcare they need at school, with 100 schools across the state to take part in Australia’s first Doctors in Secondary Schools Program.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the schools taking part in the pilot program at Mount Alexander College in Flemington – one of 100 schools to get a GP under the program.
Participating schools will partner with local doctors who will visit for up to one day a week, with students able to get referrals to specialists and the help they need before it affects their studies.
Half of the schools participating in the program are located in regional Victoria, where families often face barriers to accessing healthcare.
A further 25 schools taking part in the program are located in Melbourne’s growth areas and urban fringe to help meet demand for services created by Victoria’s unprecedented population growth.
Work is now underway on recruitment and training, building consultation rooms at schools and establishing partnerships with local healthcare providers so the program can start rolling out next year.
The program will be rolled out progressively around the state from term one, 2017.
The Andrews Labor Government provided $43.8 million for Doctors in Secondary Schools in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, including $25.8 million for staff and operational costs and $18 million to build consultation rooms on school grounds.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Happy, healthy and resilient students learn better, stay in school longer and achieve more.”
“We know that young people – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – are the least likely to see a GP, so putting doctors in schools will make sure these kids have the access to healthcare they need.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“Having doctors in schools will give students reliable healthcare, reduce the pressure on working parents and GPs, and help young people identify and address their health concerns early.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessey
“We know families in regional Victoria often find it the most difficult to access healthcare so by having doctors in schools we can help make sure young Victorians can access a GP no matter where they live.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020