Expanded kids check gets cautious support

THE Federal Government’s newly expanded $11 million child health check has received cautious support from GPs and paediatricians, but the enthusiasm has been tempered by warnings that added measures will be needed for the scheme to work. 

Part of the mental health package announced in the Federal Budget, the existing child health checks will be expanded to take in three-year-olds, and will now include an “emotional wellbeing and development” check. 

When the child health checks were first introduced in 2008, many doctors were critical that they came too late in a child’s development. They have since welcomed the decision to drag the check forward a full year.

However, doctors remain concerned about the ‘one-off’ nature of the check, and have called for more substantial investment in adequate follow-up services.

“Earlier is better… but we do need some support when we do find things,