My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, James Merlino. It is in relation to the Doctors in Secondary Schools program that has been recently announced. As I understand it, this $43.8 million program was definitely an election commitment that was made by us prior to coming to government.
The reason that we have undertaken this program is to provide students with an extra avenue to discuss sensitive issues with a medical professional. The unfortunate reality is that many kids do not have access to the best possible health care. With this program we believe they now have an avenue to discuss health issues that may not be available outside of the school. It is a well-known fact that people in rural and regional Victoria often find it more difficult to access services than those living in metropolitan areas, and access to a GP is one of these services.
The action I seek from the minister is for him to provide me with a detailed plan for how this program will be rolled out in my electorate. I would like to know how exactly schools become part of the program, which schools will be included in the program — I understand that an initial list has been provided, but I would like to know whether more will be included — what the expected time line on the rollout is, what the starting point for the program will be in each school and what monitoring and evaluation processes schools and the Department of Education and Training will deploy.