Next Phase Of Doctors In Secondary Schools Rollout

Thousands of Victorian students will have access to the healthcare they need thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today visited Eaglehawk Secondary College in Bendigo to release the starting dates for the remaining 80 schools taking part in the Doctors in Secondary Schools program.

In October last year the first 20 schools providing on-site GP services were announced. Another 40 schools, including Eaglehawk Secondary College, will commence from term three 2017 and the final 40 schools from term one 2018.

Participating schools will be partnered with local doctors who will visit up to one day a week, giving students 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, including concerns about confidentiality, cost and not knowing where to go.

Of the 100 participating schools, 51 will be in rural and regional areas where accessing healthcare can be particularly challenging.

Mr Merlino also announced the program’s consent and confidentiality policy, which was developed in consultation with experts and stakeholders including the Australian Medical Association, Victorian Association of Secondary School Principals and the Australian Education Union and Parents Victoria.

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.

Families with children at participating schools can find further information about the program, as well as a fact sheet at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/Pages/doctors-secondary-schools.aspx.

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We know young people have some of the lowest GP attendance rates, meaning many are missing out on the vital healthcare they need. This will help address barriers preventing young Victorians from seeing a doctor.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

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

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“We understand the obstacles many young people in the region face in seeing a GP and we are acting to help those most at risk.”

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