Most paediatric problems can be managed by a General Paediatrician. In complex medical conditions there may also need to be referral to see a sub-specialist which has been trained in a specific area such as the heart (Cardiologist), stomach or bowel (Gastroenterologist), lungs (Respiratory Physician).
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on how sick your child is, the first doctor should be your General Practitioner. If your child is really unwell then you should go immediately to the emergency department of your local hospital or the Children’s Hospital at Westmead or Randwick. In an emergency you can call an ambulance to take your child to hospital.
If the problem is not acute (non-urgent) then you can take your child to see the Paediatrician in private consulting rooms or in the hospital out-patient clinics.
Waiting times in the emergency department will depend on how sick your child is. Your child will be triaged (assessed and categorised) to be seen within a certain timeframe by doctor.
Waiting times in private consulting rooms or in the hospital out-patient clinics will vary from 1 - 6 months. Generally private consulting room waiting room times are shorter and your General Practitioner can contact the General Paediatrician if your child needs to be seen quickly.
Consultations in hospital out-patient clinics are covered by medicare and there are no extra charges. Fees in private consultation rooms vary from $100 -150 above the medicare rebate.
There is a helpline if you need help for your sick child. Healthdirect provides easy access to trusted, quality health information and advice online and over the phone. The phone number is 1800 02 2222. There is a registered nurse on the phone 24 hours and the nurse may refer you onto a GP if required.
Kids Helpline is a private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. The phone number is 1800 55 1800.
For general information regarding children the Raising Children Network is a complete online resource for Australian parents and carers. It offers trusted, reliable, free information on everyday parenting issues from pregnancy through to teens.