The Doctors in Secondary Schools program is a key initiative to improve young people’s access to health support, advice and treatment.

The program has been running in western Victoria since 2017 with ten schools in our region now providing students with access to a GP or registered nurse at least one day a week.


The Victorian State Government committed $43.8 million to the Doctors in Secondary Schools program in response to research showing young people had some of the lowest GP attendance rates of all age groups. The funding covers no-cost healthcare services in up to 100 public secondary schools statewide.

The core objectives of the program are to:

  • Make primary health care more accessible to students
  • Provide assistance to young people to identify and address health problems early
  • Reduce pressure on working parents.

Current participating schools in western Victoria

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program is currently delivered to the following schools in our region:

  • Ararat Secondary College
  • Beaufort Secondary College
  • Brauer Secondary College Warrnambool
  • Colac Secondary College
  • Geelong High School
  • Lavers Hill P-12 College
  • Maryborough Education Centre
  • Newcomb Secondary College
  • North Geelong Secondary College
  • Portland Secondary College
  • Phoenix P-12 College Sebastopol
  • Horsham College
  • St Arnaud Secondary College (commencing Term 2)

Local GPs and nurses are now managing 42 in-school clinics each month with an average of 300 attendances a month across our region. Importantly, two-thirds of those attendances are from students who had previously seen either the GP or nurse.

Doctors in Secondary Schools - photo of Dr Jane Russell meeting year 8 student Malachi from Horsham College
Dr Jane Russell meeting year 8 student Malachi from Horsham College

Become involved

Western Victoria PHN is contracted to continue delivering the Doctors in Secondary Schools program until 31 March 2022. We are on the lookout for doctors and nurses to help deliver this important initiative to other schools in our region including:

  • Ballarat Secondary College
  • Camperdown College
  • Casterton Secondary College
  • Heywood District Secondary College
  • Mount Clear College Ballarat

If you or your medical centre is interested in becoming involved, please contact us via the details below.

More information

Last modified: 28 February, 2020