Published: 15 October 2019

Legislative Council Tuesday 15 October, 2019


With regard to Paediatric Services in the North-West:

1. How often do Paediatric Surgeons visit the North West Coast?

2. Can you provide a list of names of visiting Paediatric Surgeons, dates and locations? 

3. Does the Paediatric Surgeon bring their own staff with them to assist? 

4. Does the Paediatric Surgeon do minor procedures on these visits? 


The North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) currently has four Paediatricians, one permanent Registrar and one Nurse Practitioner who provide in-house paediatric services. These staff provide the following clinics: 

Cystic Fibrosis Clinics; Continence Clinics; Asthma and Allergy Clinics, including skin prick tests; General Paediatric Clinics; and 

provision of services to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Service through newborn checks and assessments. The North West Regional Hospital staff provide outreach clinics to: 

Tasmanian Aboriginal centre; 

Smithton, Rosebery; 

Queenstown and 

King Island.

There are also paediatric clinics at the Mersey Community Hospital, and a number of outreach paediatric outpatient services provided on the North West, including: 

Paediatric Rehabilitation Services (provided by RHH staff) 

Paediatric Neurology Services (provided by RHH staff) 

Paediatric Cardiology Services 

Paediatric Endocrinology Services Cystic Fibrosis team visits (from the Royal Melbourne Hospital) 

Further, there are telehealth appointments available for paediatric patients in the North West through THS health centres, as well as participating GP clinics and via the North West Regional and Mersey Community Hospitals. 

While surgery is performed on some paediatric patients in the North West, in specialties where it is safe to do so and in line with the role delineation framework, there has never been a specific Paediatric Surgery list in operation at the North West. Depending on clinical urgency, North West paediatric surgery patients are referred to clinics either in the North or South of the State. 

The Launceston General Hospital provides non-complex elective surgery on children over the age of 1 year, however complex paediatric surgery can only be performed at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH). This is because it is the only hospital in the State with the clinical capacity to provide safe services at the required level of complexity and acuity. To provide complex paediatric surgery, there must be a specialised paediatric inpatient unit, a Director of Paediatric Surgical Services, specialist paediatric surgeons and specialist paediatric anaesthetists available 24 hours, as well as onsite paediatric ICU services. 


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