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 have 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. $43.8 million was allocated for doctors in secondary schools in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, including $25.8 million for staff and operational costs, as well as $18 million to build consultation rooms on school grounds.
For a list of participating schools, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/pages/doctors-secondary-schools.aspx