Yarrawonga students will be able to see a doctor for free on site at school, thanks to the rollout of the Victorian Government Doctors in Schools program.
Ambassador for Doctors in Schools and Cabinet Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas visited Yarrawonga College P-12 last week to see first-hand the new consulting room that has been established on the senior campus in Pinniger Street ready for the program to begin next term.
Ms Thomas was met by Yarrawonga College P-12 Doctors in Schools Lead Teacher Karen Rennie, Yarrawonga College P-12 Principal Damien Keel and 2017 School Captains Ronan Pritchard and Jake Willett and Vice-Captains Caitlyn O’Dwyer and Finlay Nyholm.
Yarrawonga College P-12 is one of 100 Victorian government secondary schools to participate in the Doctors in Secondary Schools program which will see a local GP visit the school for up to one day a week to provide medical advice and health support to students including mental health issues, at no cost to students.
Ms Thomas said half of the schools participating in the program were located in regional Victoria, where families often faced barriers to accessing healthcare due to cost, transport or inconvenient appointment times.
“Securing an on-site GP for Yarrawonga College P-12 through our Doctors in Secondary Schools Program will help young people in the region identify and address their health concerns early, while reducing pressure on working families,” Ms Thomas said.
“Whereas in the past parents might have had to take time off work or remove the students from school to seek medical help, students can now have access to a doctor at school for anything from minor issues like a scratchy throat or a sports injury to more serious concerns surrounding mental health or adolescence.
“The students can build a relationship with the doctor and know that they are being treated in confidence.”
Doctors in Secondary Schools is being rolled out progressively around the state, starting with 20 secondary schools in the first half of this year.
The program will start in a further 40 schools from term 3 and the final 40 schools from term 1, 2018.
Yarrawonga’s two medical centres, Yarrawonga Medical Clinic and Yarrawonga Denis Medical, have been engaged to provide primary health services through the program.
The Victorian Labor Government invested $43.8 million for the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program with a view to giving students access to healthcare support early before it affects their studies.
More information about the program is available here at www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/pages/doctors-secondary-schools.aspx