Friday, 14 July, 2017

An additional eight Gippsland Secondary Colleges will provide students access to the healthcare they need thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program will commence, in the following schools, from term 3, 2017 and term 1, 2018 -;Bairnsdale Secondary College, Sale College – Macalister Campus, Kurnai College – Morwell Campus, Drouin Secondary College, Maffra Secondary College, Swifts Creek P-12 School – Tambo Campus, Neerim District Secondary College and Warragul Regional College.

Traralgon College – East campus was the first school in Gippsland to participate in the program, commencing in Term 1 of this year.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program will enable students to access the support they need early on before health problems affect their studies, including referrals to specialists.

The Australian-first program will help tackle barriers preventing young Victorians from accessing healthcare, such as concerns about confidentiality, cost and not knowing where to go. Fifty one of the one hundred participating schools will be in rural and regional areas, where accessing healthcare can be particularly challenging.

As is the case with all GPs in the community, Doctors will decide whether students are mature enough to consent to treatment or whether parent or carer consent is needed. The health information of young people will be confidential and managed according to law.

The program is being rolled out progressively around the State, with implementation starting in the first 20 schools from the first half of this year. The next 40 schools commence participation in the program from term 3, 2017 and the final 40 from term 1, 2018.

The 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.

The Government is putting people first by making Victoria the Education State, and this means making sure every student is supported to be their best.

Families can find further information about the program, as well as a fact sheet at:

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“We know adolescents have some of the lowest GP attendance rates, meaning many are missing out on the vital healthcare they need.”

“This innovative program commencing in our Gippsland Schools will help address barriers preventing students in from seeing a doctor.”

“Students will be able to see a GP on-site and get on top of health problems early, including mental health issues.”