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The paediatric department provides inpatient care for children (up to their 16th birthday) in a 30-bed paediatric ward and an eight-bed neonatal unit.
There are about 1500 paediatric ward admissions per year of which the majority are Aboriginal children. It is the 13th busiest paediatric ward in Australia (CHAA data).
There are about 800 births per year with approximately 250 admissions to the neonatal unit. Outpatient clinics are run every day at a dedicated paediatric outpatient unit. About 30 remote communities receive additional outreach paediatrician visits.
The socioeconomic factors of health are starkly apparent in Alice Springs. The inequality between the living conditions of other Australian children and children from remote communities is obvious and can be confronting.
Our patients often have infectious diseases not common elsewhere in developed countries, such as rheumatic fever and Strongyloides infection. Malnutrition remains widespread. Children with disabilities often face a severe shortage of resources and child protection services are busy.
Teaching and placements
The department is run by six FTE consultant paediatricians. We have a robust teaching timetable with at least four different sessions provided each week. We actively look to make connections with researchers, allied health professionals, NGOs and remote health services. Any child who needs more specialised care is sent to hospitals in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. Visiting paediatric sub-specialists provide additional clinic services in Alice Springs.
We have medical students on placement from multiple universities across Australia, especially Flinders University and James Cook University.
Our training network includes Adelaide Women’s and Children Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital. We are accredited by the RACP for Acute/Rural General Paediatrics and Developmental/Community Paediatrics for Advanced Trainees and have Basic Trainees rotating from Adelaide Women’s and Children for six months at a time.
For further information email MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.