Local students may soon be able to make appointments with a doctor located on school grounds.

Harriet Shing MP, Member for Eastern Victoria Region today announced that Gippsland’s schools had been invited to apply to participate in the Doctors in Secondary Schools program, commencing in 2017.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 delivers $43.8 million for the Doctors in Secondary Schools, allowing 100 schools across the state to partner with local doctors.

The program is based on Wellington Secondary College’s ‘Wellbeing Centre’, where a local doctor attends the school one day a week and bulk bills students using their own Medicare cards.

To be selected, eligible secondary schools will need to demonstrate a need for the service and an ability to build local partnerships with their community.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) process concludes on Monday 13 June 2016 and successful schools are expected to be notified in August.

Under the program $25.8 million will go to recruiting and training GPs as well as staffing and operational costs, while a further $18 million will build examination rooms on school grounds.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program will make a valuable contribution towards achieving the Education State targets of ‘happy, healthy and resilient kids’ by improving access to health services for young people.

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

“For all sorts of reasons it can be hard for some kids to access the healthcare they need.”

“As part of the Doctors in Secondary Schools program, students will be able to get the help before it affects their studies.”

“We want all kids in Gippsland to be healthy and happy and we know that when they are, they do better in school.”