Doctors In Secondary Schools

Doctors In Secondary Schools

Making primary health care more accessible to students

The $43.8 million Doctors in Secondary Schools initiative aims to provide school-based health services to 100 Victorian secondary schools most in need. Modern clinical facilities are built onsite schools, with a general practitioner (GP) and nurse providing primary care and care coordination for students for up to one day per week.

Recognising that adolescents are often the lowest users of health care services and can experience significant unmet physical and mental health needs, leading to lower engagement levels in education, the initiative aims to:

  • Make primary health care more accessible to students and thereby help reduce unmet needs
  • Provide assistance to young people to identify and address any health problems early
  • Reduce the pressure on working parents and community-based GPs
  • Contribute to achieving the Education State school targets for ‘happy, healthy and resilient kids.'

The initiative builds on the school’s existing student wellbeing programs to help increase health literacy and preventive health.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) works with Victoria’s six PHNs to engage general practices to provide suitably experienced GPs to work with participating schools. PHNs will support the integration of GPs in schools with community-based primary care services, to enable best-practice, patient-centred care. PHNs also work with DET to ensure GPs receive the best quality evidence-based training before starting in the school, including ongoing professional development, and debriefing on important health topics GPs encounter within the schools.

Clinics have now opened in the following schools in EMPHN's catchment:

  • Upper Yarra Secondary College
  • Whittlesea Secondary College
  • Healesville High School
  • Boronia K-12 College
  • Wallan Secondary College
  • Lalor North Secondary College
  • Charles La Trobe P-12 College- McLeod (shared with North Western Melbourne PHN)
  • Bayswater Secondary
  • Melba Secondary College
  • Scoresby Secondary College
  • Yarra Hills Secondary College – Mooroolbark Campus
  • Wallan Secondary College

Other schools in EMPHN's catchment in the pilot:

  • Croydon Community School

We are working with these schools and local GPs as the initiative is rolled out across Melbourne.

More information contact:

Christine Chien and Sacha L’Huillier