Page 4003 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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Services in the subspecialty areas of children with haematological and neurological problems are currently provided by Sydney-based doctors as the critical mass of patients for full-time specialists of this nature is not met in Canberra and it is unlikely that highly trained doctors in these disciplines will find enough work to justify a move to the ACT. Existing Paediatricians at TCH have been encouraged to maintain a special interest in key clinical areas so that there is easy dialogue with the Sydney-based sub-specialists.

The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health is a training hub for doctors entering General Practice and formal training in Paediatric medicine with Royal Australian College of Physicians. The recent retirement of key paediatricians in the private sector in Canberra has put some pressure on the private system and at present there are significant difficulties recruiting to the private practice arena in the ACT.

The recruitment and education of nursing staff with paediatric and adolescent health expertise is ongoing.

(6) On how many occasions in the last 12 months have children been accommodated with adults at (a) The Canberra Hospital and (b) Calvary Hospital.

(g) The Canberra Hospital

There have been no children placed in adult wards at TCH within the last 12 months.

The Emergency Department is the only area at TCH where children have been accommodated with adult patients.

(h) Calvary Hospital

The Emergency Department and Day Surgery Unit are the only area at Calvary Hospital where children have been accommodated with adult patients.

Health—neonatal death rates
(Question No 482)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 18 August 2005:

(1) What is the current rate of neonatal death in the ACT and how does that figure compare to (a) the rest of the nation and (b) previous results for the last five years;

(2) What has the Government done and what is the Government still doing to reduce neonatal death in the ACT.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The current published rate (2003) of neonatal death in the ACT is 3.9 deaths per 1,000 registered live births (95% Confidence Interval: 2.0 – 5.8), where the death occurred within 28 days of birth and the birth weight of the infant was at least 400 grams, or if the birth weight was unknown the infant was (born at) at least 20 weeks gestation.

The table below provides a comparison in neonatal death rates between the ACT and Australia, for the years 1997 – 2003:

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