The $43.8 million Doctors in Secondary Schools initiative is delivering on the election commitment to fund general practitioners (GPs) to attend up to 100 Victorian government secondary schools up to one day a week to provide medical advice and health care to those students most in need.
What is Doctors in Schools?
Transcript (docx - 26.95kb)
The objectives of the program are to:
- make primary health care more accessible to students
- provide assistance to young people to identify and address any health problems early
- aim to reduce the pressure on working parents and community-based GPs.
The program will make a valuable contribution to achieving the Education State targets of 'happy, healthy and resilient kids' by improving ease of access to health services for young people.
How will the program work?
Select Victorian Government secondary schools will work together with local general practices to enable primary health care services to be delivered on school premises. It is anticipated that the program will enable a GP to attend the school for up to one day a week to assist students to identify and address any health problems early.
All secondary school students who are enrolled in the participating Victorian Government secondary school will be able to access the GP, subject to providing the requisite consent for the services.
The participating Victorian Government Secondary Schools, students and their parents/guardians/carers will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP on the school premises.
Funding for this initiative will also deliver modern, fit-for-purpose examination rooms on school grounds where they are required.
How were secondary schools selected?
There were 166 Victorian government secondary schools invited to lodge an application. Schools with the highest Student Family Occupation and Education (SFOE) index were targeted, with consideration also given to schools in areas with limited access to a GP.
There were 135 applications received. Each application was evaluated based on responses to selection criteria, with schools asked to demonstrate the needs of their student population, their capacity and willingness to build community relationships and their long-term commitment to student health and wellbeing.
Consent and confidentiality policy
On 19 January 2017, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education also announced the program consent and confidentiality policy.
The program’s consent and confidentiality policy was developed in consultation with experts including: the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Education Union, Parents Victoria and the Victorian Association of Secondary School Principals.
Consistent with Australian common law, the program recognises that:
- any student who wants to see a doctor can book an appointment
- doctors will decide whether students are mature enough to consent to treatment or whether parent/carer consent is needed - as is the case with all GPs in the community
- health information of young people will be confidential and managed according to law - as with all GPs in the community.
Families with children at participating schools will be informed about the program at the start of the year, with detailed fact sheets.
Minor revisions and clarifications were made to the policy and information sheets since 19 January 2017 - the versions uploaded here are the revised ones, dated 18 May 2017.
When will schools commence in the program?
It is anticipated that 20 Victorian Government secondary schools will be ready to deliver GP services on their school premises from Term 1, 2017. A further 40 will roll out from Term 3, 2017 with the remaining 40 secondary schools to be delivered from Term 1, 2018.
This staggered implementation model will allow for lessons learned from the first 20 schools to inform operations at later schools.
On 1 September 2016, the Premier and the Deputy Premier, the Minister for Education, announced the 100 successful secondary schools at Mount Alexander College, Flemington.
On 19 January 2017, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education announced the roll out of the next 80 secondary schools to participate in the program.
First 20 Secondary Schools to commence from Term 1, 2017
The program will be rolled out progressively around the state from Term 1, 2017. In selecting the first 20 schools to participate in the program, priority has been given to those schools that scored highly in the expression of interest process and who had an existing partnership with a local health service to provide a general practitioner. Consideration has also been given to ensuring geographic spread, metro/regional/rural distribution and coverage across each of the six Primary Health Networks.
- Ballarat Secondary College - Wendouree Campus
- Boronia K-12 College - Rangeview Campus
- Brauer Secondary College
- Craigieburn Secondary College
- Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College
- Kyneton Secondary College
- Monterey Secondary College
- Mount Alexander 7-12 College
- Mount Clear College
- Narre Warren South P-12 College
- Oakwood School - Noble Park Campus
- Pakenham Secondary College
- Portland Secondary College
- Rosebud Secondary College
- Sunbury College
- Traralgon College - East Campus
- Upper Yarra Secondary College
- Wedderburn College
- Whittlesea College
- Yarrawonga College P-12 - Pinniger Street Campus
Upcoming 40 Secondary Schools to commence from Term 3, 2017
The rollout of the remaining 80 schools is being finalised and schools will be notified by the end of Term 4, 2016 of their commencement date in the program.
- Alexandra Secondary College
- Ararat Secondary College
- Bairnsdale Secondary College
- Bayside P-12 College – Paisley Campus
- Beaufort Secondary College
- Benalla P-12 College – Barkley Street Campus
- Braybrook College
- Carrum Downs Secondary College
- Charles La Trobe P-12 College
- Copperfield College
- Cranbourne Secondary College
- Dandenong High School
- Drouin Secondary College
- Eaglehawk Secondary College
- Geelong High School
- Gleneagles Secondary College
- Glenroy Secondary College
- Healesville High School
- Keysborough Secondary College – Acacia Campus
- Kurnai College – Morwell Campus
- Lalor North Secondary College
- Laverton P-12 College
- Manor Lakes P-12 College
- Maryborough Education Centre
- McClelland Secondary College
- Melton Secondary College
- Newcomb Secondary College
- Noble Park Secondary College
- North Geelong Secondary College
- Patterson River Secondary College
- Phoenix P-12 Community College
- Red Cliffs Secondary College
- Roxburgh College
- Sale College – Macalister Campus Seymour College
- Seymour College
- Shepparton High School
- St Albans Secondary College
- The Grange P-12 College
- Wallan Secondary College
- Wodonga Senior Secondary College
Final 40 Secondary Schools to commence from Term 1, 2018
- Bacchus Marsh College
- Bayswater Secondary College
- Camperdown College
- Casterton Secondary College
- Colac Secondary College
- Cranbourne East Secondary College
- Croydon Community School
- Footscray City College
- Fountain Gate Secondary College
- Hallam Senior Secondary College
- Heywood District Secondary College
- Horsham College
- Hume Central Secondary College – Town Park Campus
- Irymple Secondary College
- Keilor Downs Secondary College
- Kerang Technical High School
- Kurunjang Secondary College
- Lavers Hill P-12 College
- Lyndale Secondary College
- Maffra Secondary College
- McGuire College
- Melba Secondary College
- Merbein P-10 College
- Mornington Secondary College
- Mount Ridley P-12 College
- Neerim District Secondary College
- Numurkah Secondary College
- Ouyen P-12 College
- Reservoir High School
- Robinvale College (interim name)/li>
- Rutherglen High School
- Scoresby Secondary College
- St Arnaud Secondary College
- Swan Hill College
- Swifts Creek P-12 School
- Victoria University Secondary College – Brimbank Campus
- Warragul Regional College
- Weeroona College Bendigo
- Wodonga Middle Years College – Huon Campus
- Yarra Hills Secondary College – Mooroolbark Campus
How can general practices get involved in the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program?
General practices interested in becoming part of the Program can do so by contacting their local Primary Health Network (PHN) and nominating suitably experienced General Practitioners (GPs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) to work with participating schools.
Role of PHNs:
- recruiting general practices and suitable GPs and RNs to the program
- promoting best practice care by integrating GPs and RNs in school clinics, with community-based primary care services
- facilitating GPs and RNs' training and ongoing professional development.
Requirements for 'Doctors in Secondary Schools' general practices, General Practitioners and Registered Nurses
Accredited practices or those registered for Accreditation are encouraged to apply. Practices are required to provide bulk billing services for students, have a medical software program and have, or are willing to have a clinical audit tool installed to record and report data.
The Program requires Vocationally Registered GPs, with an AHPRA registration and license to practice in Australia. Experience in child and adolescent health, mental health and drug and alcohol services is desirable.
The program is also seeking Registered Nurses (Division 1), with an AHPRA registration and no restrictions on scope of practice in Australia.
To find out more or to apply for a school in your area, contact:
North Western Melbourne PHN
South Eastern Melbourne PHN
Western Victoria PHN
Eastern Melbourne PHN
State-wide Project Coordinator
If you don't know which PHN your practice falls under, please refer to the PHN Map locator:
Primary Health Network map locator
For more information on the program, see: