Students at Patterson River Secondary College and right across the state will be able to access health advice, treatment and support thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Doctors in Secondary Schools Program.
Minister for Education James Merlino and the Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny announced the launch of the second phase of the innovative program during a visit to Patterson River Secondary College today.
Another 40 schools across Victoria will join the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program from this term, bringing it to a total of 60 government secondary schools currently participating in the program. From term 1, 2018, the program will be running in all 100 participating schools.
GP consultations will be available one day a week, providing medical advice and health support to students, who will incur no out-of-pocket costs.
Clinic services will be delivered in purpose-built, modern consultation rooms, on school grounds. The program will help enable young people to get the health care they need, including referrals for further physical and mental health management where needed.
Half of the schools participating in the program are located in regional Victoria, where families often face barriers to accessing healthcare for reasons including cost, transport and inconvenient appointment times.
A further 25 schools are located in growth areas to help meet increasing demand for primary health services.
The Labor Government has invested $43.8 million for the Doctors in Secondary Schools program, including $25.8 million to deliver the program and $18 million for the installation of consultation rooms on school grounds.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“Securing an on-site GP for Patterson River Secondary College will help young people to identify and address their health concerns early, while reducing pressure on working families.”
“We’re rolling this out across the state, with another 40 schools getting a GP on site from this term.”
Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny
“We know adolescents have some of the lowest GP attendance rates, meaning many could be missing out on vital healthcare support, and this ground-breaking program will help address barriers preventing young Victorians from accessing healthcare.”