Secondary school students from Geelong High School, Newcomb Secondary College and North Geelong Secondary School will have the opportunity to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time as GPs begin working in these schools this term.

The Victorian Government has partnered with Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) in the delivery of its $43.8 million state-wide Doctors in Secondary Schools pilot program to make sure young people receive the health support, advice and treatment they need to reach their full potential.

"We know young people have some of the lowest GP attendance rates, meaning many are missing out on vital healthcare support. Students at North Geelong Secondary College, Geelong High School and Newcomb Secondary College will be able to see a GP on-site and get on top of health problems early, including mental health issues,” said Minister for Education, James Merlino.

“Western Victoria PHN has recruited and engaged GPs to work at participating schools, where all secondary school students will be able to access the GP, subject to providing the requisite consent for the services,” said Western Victoria PHN’s CEO, Dr Leanne Beagley.

“Participating schools, students and their parents, guardians or carers will not incur any outof-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP,” said Dr Beagley.

Doctors and nurses will attend the schools one day each week to help young people identify health problems early and reduce pressure on working parents.

“This service will provide very experienced youth-friendly GPs and nurses to deliver holistic care and work with student welfare teams to promote health and wellbeing for young people,” said Headspace Geelong GP Project Officer, Dr Sue Barker.

Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) responsible for the Headspace Geelong program, CEO Sandy Morrison said they are excited to be participating in the pilot in Geelong.

“Barwon Child, Youth & Family are looking forward to working closely with participating schools in Geelong to deliver the Doctors in Secondary Schools pilot program, which will further improve access to health care for young people in the community,” said Mr Morrison.

More schools in the western Victoria district will come on board in Term 1 of 2018.

For further information contact:

Helen Kostiuk, Manager Communications, Western Victoria PHN on 0413 754 606.

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