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    4 years old getting a bit late if they haven’t seen anyone since their 18 months check… I’m just thinking from a speech and language point of view, my service gets many referrals at 18 months for late talkiers and then again at the 3ish year old MACH nurse screen for those who haven’t cauught up in that time, 3 still allows for a couple of years of early interventon thorugh preschools and therapy services. a few months before they may well be starting promary school if they live in NSW does not.

    Are 3 year old checks still occuring in all states by child heath nurses? Or screening at their immunicsation times? If a kid hasn’t been seen until 4 by a medical professional then there’s going to be panic stations all around if they present with any significant delays, and that’s before they hit school.

    And there is no requirement that parents access therapy services. Good luck making a child protection report if they failto attend therapy appointments… :

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    Narrandera GP Management

    Our practice is too busy trying to see ordinary patients. Our practice covers all medical services in the town 24/7 – so if we send patients to the hospital, we have to send the doctor up there as well. We have a 3-4 week wait list for regular appointments. If these patients are very lucky they will not be rescheduled due to an emergency or unforeseen change to the roster.

    We trained one of our three nurses in 4 year old health checks and she left us. We can’t afford the time to send another nurse to be trained. And if the nurse did commence the check, there would be no doctors available to sign off on the check.

    Our nurses are also too busy assisting the doctors to see patients for these health checks. Already we have to NOT DO other health checks because we do not have the time to spend on them. We would love to comply with all of these wonderful initiatives. Our doctors are just too busy.

    There are many overseas trained doctors who would love to come and work in the country. We would love to have their skills, and if they don’t have enough, they will get on the job training here – we train registrars. But it is made so difficult it is near impossible for us to get the doctors we need. The government shows no interest in using them to take up the slack until the influx of increased Aussie students take up all the available positions (after our overloaded doctors have trained them – on top of their work).

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    There seems to be a misconception amongst politicians that doing a health check automatically translates to better health. Where I work, waiting times for public ENT clinics are years, there are no public eye clinics, public paediatric waiting times are months and there are very inadequate counselling services for children. I can see parents bringing their 4 year olds in demanding a health check so they can access their family tax benefit, not admitting to any health concerns re their child for fear that will affect their eligibility and any problems found will not be able to be adequately addressed anyway because of a lack of appropriate, affordable and timely backup services.
    I am tired of governments and health bureaucrats coming up with ideas that may sound good and with the best of intentions( perhaps??) but with no chance of actually improving health outcomes in the community.


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