Canberra Liberals call for urgent independent review of ACT paediatric services


The Canberra Liberals are calling on the ACT Labor-Greens government to urgently establish an independent review of the Territory’s paediatric services following the tragic deaths of several children.

The inquiry should particularly focus on the fact there are no dedicated paediatric specialty areas in cardiology and neurology in Canberra, as revealed in information obtained by the Canberra Liberals this week.

Canberrans have been shocked by the recent devastating deaths of children and Shadow Health Minister Leanne Castley said the government must review paediatric services to ensure the best possible care is available in the ACT.

“Parents and carers are understandably thinking ‘this could have been my child’,” Ms Castley said.

“A hospital is there to save lives. Nothing will ever bring back Rozalia, Brian and these other precious children. But what the Labor-Greens government can and must do now is review paediatric services to ensure the best healthcare is provided to our kids.

“The inquiry needs to examine where the demand is and where are the gaps.

“This would be the most appropriate tribute to these grieving families to show the government genuinely cares about improving healthcare for our children. It cannot wait for a coronial inquest that will happen sometime next year.”

The Canberra Liberals’ call follows revelations that Canberra Health Services has 20 paediatric specialists, two of whom are on leave, plus nine Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) paediatric specialists.

The information, from July 20 this year and provided to Ms Castley in response to questions about paediatric services, also reveals there are no dedicated paediatric speciality areas in cardiology and neurology in Canberra. These are “outreach services provided by Sydney Children’s Hospital Network”.

“Who is caring for our very sick kids in the ACT and why don’t we have our own dedicated paediatric cardiologists and neurologists?” Ms Castley said.

“The Labor-Greens government must do everything it can to stop children dying in Canberra,” Ms Castley concluded.