Doctors to go back to school

Murgon State High School is one of 50 schools to participate in the pilot program to have GPs based in Queensland schools. Picture: FILE

Access to a doctor will be getting easier for Murgon State High School and Kilkivan State School (P-10) students next year.

These are just two out of 50 schools participating in a pilot program being introduced by the Palaszczuk Government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced General Practitioners would be based at the participating schools from May 2022.

“Every Queenslander deserves to be able to book a doctor’s appointment when they need one. But for many young people, getting in to see a GP is often difficult and expensive,” she said.

“We know that one of the greatest barriers for many young people is the difficulty in finding a GP that bulk bills.”

Ms Palaszczuk hopes this will make a difference for thousands of students in Queensland.

“The last 18 months have affected us all. Our students, in particular, have had to overcome great challenges throughout the pandemic. This has undoubtedly had an impact on their health and wellbeing,” she said.

“This is an important investment. Delivering quality healthcare and education for all Queenslanders is what good Labor governments do best.”

Education Minister Grace Grace expects all of the clinics to be up and running by May 2022.

“Originally, the GP pilot program was designed to base GPs at 20 state secondary schools throughout the state,” she said.

“We asked schools to register their interest to participate in this program and we were inundated with requests which is why we’ve expanded it to 50.

“These schools are spread across the length and breadth of the state and I have no doubt the GP service will make a big difference to each and every one of them.

Ms Grace said the initiative forms part of the game-changing $100 million student wellbeing program which we announced at the last election.

The Education Minister said the Government’s $100 million student wellbeing program was an important component of the Palaszczuk Government’s record $15.3 billion education budget.

“At the last election we committed to a wellbeing program, giving every student, in every state primary and secondary school, access to a health and wellbeing professional,” she said.

“It will see up to 464 additional psychologists and wellbeing professionals employed in Queensland schools over the next three years.

“Providing students with access to timely healthcare, at no cost to them or their families, will have a positive impact on students’ health, mental health and their readiness and ability to engage at school, and we want to ensure as many students as possible can benefit.”