Australian Government Initiative (Children Under 16)
This Australian Government Initiative is addressing health needs of Indigenous children under 16 years of age across the Northern Territory.
Key activities occurring are primary health checks with referral to appropriate specialists including dental or Ear, Nose and Throat specialists as required. Surgery for the AGI is balanced with the demand for the elective surgery waiting list reduction plan depending on operating theatre availability.
Emergency admissions are the first priority of the public hospital system.
An emergency patient is someone with a clinical condition that necessitates admission to hospital within 24 hours.
Increases in emergency admissions result in less elective cases being treated as surgeons must give priority to emergency cases. Medical (non-surgical) emergencies use beds that might have otherwise have been available for elective surgery patients.
For these reasons, when emergency demand increases, the ability of hospitals to provide elective surgery services is compromised.
Surgeon / Specialist Availability
Elective surgery may need to be delayed due to access to specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and operating theatre nurses. Hospitals try to recruit specialists to cover holidays and emergency leave but this is not always possible.
Specialist surgeons from across Australia visit the Northern Territory hospitals on a regular basis to provide specific surgical procedures.