Doctors go back to school

June 16, 2017

Shepparton High School year 12 student Tyler Bell, Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed, Doctors in Schools Ambassador Mary-Anne Thomas, year 12 student Vivienne Thomas and school assistant principal Kimberley Tempest in the newly refurbished consulting suites.

Students at Shepparton High School will have access to an on-campus doctor from next term.

Doctors in Secondary Schools program ambassador Mary-Anne Thomas visited the school yesterday to see the newly-refurbished consulting rooms the doctor will base their practice in.

‘‘Adolescents are one of the groups least likely to visit the doctor ... there are a wide range of reasons why they aren’t visiting doctors as often as we would like them to,’’ she said.

‘‘Securing an on-site GP for Shepparton High School through our Doctors in Secondary Schools program will help these young people identify and address their health concerns early, and reduce pressure on working families.

‘‘(This room) is in a location that’s really accessible for the kids, and it’s going to be very inviting and private.’’

The program will kick off at the school some time next term, with a local doctor set to spend four hours one day a week consulting with students.

A nurse will also spend an entire day on campus.

Doctors in Secondary Schools project director James Thomas said Shepparton High School was one of 135 schools that applied for the program, with 100 selected based on a number of factors.

‘‘These included things like what the school said it would do to implement the program to its services, the supply of GPs in the area and then the selection of schools was mixed 50/50 over regional and metro schools,’’ he said.

Mr Thomas said the practising doctor would have all the abilities of a regular GP, including writing prescriptions and providing referrals. ‘‘It’s just like going to a GP in the community,’’ he said.

While a GP is yet to be appointed, school assistant principal Kimberley Tempest said the school was hoping to appoint a local doctor that would be able to continue treating students outside of school.

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