Paediatric admissions rising
The number of acute paediatric admissions to hospital is increasing in Australia and other developed countries.
This has implications for local medical expertise, changing styles of medical practice with regard to on-call services and cost to the healthcare system.
The reasons for this are not easily identified, but it has been suggested that contributory factors may include increasing clinician concerns about medico-legal claims, lower admission thresholds from less experienced junior doctors in emergency departments and an increase in parental expectations of admission.
As a result, hospitals have responded by increasing the number of staff in emergency departments, developing short-stay wards attached to emergency departments and having next day review consultant clinics and prioritised follow-up with paediatricians and paediatric subspecialists.
Having implemented these changes in the UK, which shares a universal healthcare