Improving Accessibility to Doctors for Secondary Students in Heywood

MEDIA RELEASE 

Secondary school students from Heywood and District Secondary College are accessing medical care at their school thanks to the Victorian government’s Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) $43.8 million program.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) and Active Health Portland have partnered to deliver the DiSS program ensuring young people receive the health support, advice and treatment they need to reach their full potential.

The program commenced at the school on Thursday 28 January 2021 with GP Dr Deb Carrington attending the school one day each fortnight to help young people identify health problems early and reduce pressure on working parents and community-based GPs.

Photo: Heywood and District Secondary College students Jacob Sanderson and Alice Pumpa, Western Victoria Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift, College principal Kelly Webster and wellbeing leader Tiana Richardson, practice nurse Cathy Radford and GP Debbie Carrington.
Photo (L-R): Heywood and District Secondary College students Jacob Sanderson and Alice Pumpa, College principal Kelly Webster, wellbeing leader Tiana Richardson, Western Victoria Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift, practice nurse Cathy Radford and GP Debbie Carrington.

Registered nurse, Helen Beavis, will also be available each fortnight at the clinic, liaising with students and the staff community, working with the GP and making links with other allied health professionals working within schools to support a cohesive health management approach for students.

“Western Victoria PHN is delighted to be working with Active Health Portland to provide this program and improve young people’s access to health support, advice and treatment in the Heywood area,” said WVPHN CEO Rowena Clift.

“Heywood and District Secondary College students and their parents, guardians or carers will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP.

“The program has been running in western Victoria since 2017 with 14 schools in our region currently providing students with access to a GP or registered nurse and four more schools set to commence the program soon.”

Students not enrolled at Heywood and District Secondary College, but who access the school for VCE/VCAL/VET classes and assessment, can also access the GP and nurse.

Principal of Heywood and District Secondary College, Kelly Webster, says she is thrilled to be able to have the Doctors in Secondary Schools program at the school to provide support to students.

“Already we’ve been able to refer students into the program who may otherwise not have been able to access health professionals. We welcome Dr Carrington and Helen into our school community,” Ms Webster said.