Doctor in schools program

As you may be aware, our school was successful in being selected to participate in the Victorian Government’s Doctors in Secondary Schools program. 
As part of this program, adolescent-trained GPs (general practitioners) Dr Thilini Kodithuwakku and Dr Luke Oh from Duff Street Medical Clinic will be operating on school grounds each Tuesday to provide free access to primary health care for secondary students at our school. 
We know that teenagers are the least likely of all age groups to seek health care, but we also know that many health problems that can have consequences into adulthood start at this time of life. This program seeks to address this issue. 
You can support the success of this program by talking to your child about the program and encouraging them to access the GP if they need primary health care. 

The GP will provide students with the same services as the kind normally provided by GPs in the community, including seeing students about their physical and mental health, and sexual and reproductive health issues. GPs may also make referrals to other health services as required. 
The GP will bulk bill consultations through Medicare, so there will be no out-of-pocket expenses for this service for your family. 
This program is not designed to replace any existing medical arrangements your family may have in place. The GP in the school can provide a convenient alternative to primary care within schools hours, and encourage health care access to those students without an existing relationship with a GP. 
The program is intended to provide better access to primary care for secondary school students. Therefore, parents, carers, guardians and other family members are not able to use this service at this time. 

Generally, all students can make an appointment to see the GP. Victorian law is clear on how and when students can consent for medical treatment by a GP: 
  • Students who are mature minors can consent to their own medical treatment
  • Students who are not mature minors cannot give consent to their own medical treatment.

Mature minors are students under the age of 18 years who are deemed capable of seeking and obtaining health care for their particular medical issue. The GP will assess if a student is a mature minor with respect to the issue for which they are seeking medical treatment.  
If the GP considers your child is a mature minor, they may see them without you. The GP will often encourage your child to involve you in their care, and GPs understand you are an important source of information and support for your child when it comes to their health. If the GP thinks your student is not a mature minor, your consent will be sought if the student wishes to progress with the treatment. 

More information on consent, confidentiality and medical treatment by a GP is included in the information sheet, which is on the Doctors in Secondary Schools webpage at:   

When does it start?
  The doctor and nurse will be on school grounds every Tuesday of the school term.
  Opening hours are 10-2pm and appointments are 10 minutes. 

WHO is involved?
Dr Thilini Kodithuwakku and Dr Luke Oh 
Nurse: Stephanie Dunlop
Why is there a doctor at the school? 
The doctor is at your school to help you be as healthy as possible.  The doctor is a great place to start if your student is concerned or wants help, information, or advice about any health issues including: 
  • Physical wellbeing;
  • Healthy eating and exercise;
  • Sexual health;
  • Drug or alcohol use;
  • Relationships or family issues;
  • If you are feeling scared, worried, upset, or down;

How to book an appointment?
  • Through Kirsty in Wellbeing. You can come to see her before school, recess, lunch or after school and request to book an appointment. 
  • Walk straight into the GP building at recess or lunch time on a Tuesday. 
  • Call the Duff Street Medical Clinic (5995 4988) and ask to book an appointment at Cranbourne Secondary College. 

Very important to know - Confidentiality.
It is important that you know that appointments will be confidential – which means kept private. 
If you book your appointments through Kirsty in wellbeing, she is not allowed to tell other people in the school (teachers, coordinators, and friends) or parents, that you have booked an appointment to see the doctor. 
She will however have to let your teacher know that you will be absent, however she does not need to tell them that you are with the doctor. 
If you want your appointment to be completely private (for example, you do not want anyone in the school to know), you have to drop in to the clinic at recess or lunch time and speak to the nurse – Stephanie. 

If you are 14 years or older, your information is kept private by Medicare. Even if your parents ask for a statement, your visit to the doctor at school will not be shown. 
If you are 13 years or under, your parents can access information about you visiting the doctor, even without your permission. 

Dr. Thilini Kodithuwakku   Nurse Stephanie Dunlop  On-Site Doctor's Office
 Dr. Thilini Kodithuwakku  Nurse. Stephanie Dunlop  On-Site Doctor's Office