In-school GP on call

Practice nurse Jelena Tomic, Dr Nilantha Jayarathna and Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams at Dandenong High School. 174696 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Casey Neill

On-campus doctors are helping Greater Dandenong students to stay healthy.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams met the Dandenong High School doctor and heard about the Doctors in Schools Program’s progress.
Ms Williams said feedback had been positive and local schools had promoted the service among students and their families.
“We’ve been told it has been convenient for local families, has promoted the importance of regular health check-ups, and can also play a significant role in supporting the vaccination of young people against life-threatening diseases like meningococcal,” she said.
The State Government announced last September that 100 schools would welcome a GP into the school grounds one day a week to address health problems, refer students to specialists, and reduce the pressure on working parents and community-based GPs.
Dandenong High School was among the schools and received its doctor in term three, along with the Keysborough and Noble Park secondary colleges.
Oakwood School in Noble Park has had a doctor since term one, and Lyndale Secondary in Dandenong North will have a doctor from term one next year.
“This program presents a great opportunity to encourage in young people a life-long pattern of good health and regular check-ups,” Ms Williams said.
“It is also very convenient for families, and helps build health literacy across generations.”
When the project was announced, Lyndale student engagement and wellbeing director Ana Finlay told the Journal that many students didn’t go to see a doctor.
“I see it as a great opportunity to promote health and for our students to access that service that generally they’re reluctant to access,” she said.
“There’s lots of reasons why kids don’t. Some of them are cultural-based, others are embarrassed to go with a parent.”

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