Paediatrics and Child Health Division

Paediatrics is a medical specialty concerned with the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Advocacy for the health needs of children and young people is a key component of a paediatrician’s work.

Paediatric policy and advocacy priorities include the development of position papers on the role of paediatricians in providing mental health care for children and young people, indigenous child health and early childhood.

At Congress 2019, we launched our latest position paper on ‘Early childhood: the importance of the Early Years’ as part of our broader advocacy campaign on child health inequities. In its statement, the College puts forward a number of recommendations for governments, policy makers and practitioners to improve early childhood development in Australia and New Zealand with a strong focus on parental and infant mental health, nutrition, early childhood education and social welfare. For more information please find the position statement here and visit our inequities in child health webpage.

Through the RACP, paediatricians are also advocating for the health of children in detention, children seeking asylum, the need to protect children from the potential for abuse, and equity in access to health care. We also advocate for adequate for adequate and appropriate sexual and reproductive health care for young people.

The Paediatric Policy and Advocacy Committee oversee the paediatric policy and advocacy agenda. This includes developing RACP policy positions relating to child health and informing RACP advocacy on issues related to the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Advocacy strategy

Child Health Advocacy Strategy 2022-25

The Child Health Advocacy Strategy 2022-25 provides an overarching framework for advocacy on child health and takes a rights-based approach to child health. The Strategy builds on the positions established in the RACP position statements: Inequities in Child Health (2018), Early Childhood: The Importance of the Early Years (2019) and Indigenous Child Health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (2020).

The Strategy is a key advocacy piece for the Paediatrics and Child Health Division, with 4 key focus areas:

  1. Strengthening whole-of-government planning and accountability for child health outcomes
  2. Promoting healthy relationships: parental, child and adolescent mental health
  3. Enhancing access to quality early childhood education
  4. Promoting healthy nutrition and oral health

Kids Covid Catch Up campaign

In February 2022 the PCHD launched the Kids Covid Catch Up (KCCU) campaign. Concerns about children’s schooling and wellbeing are featuring in national discussions around the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Read more about the Kid's Covid Catch Up campaign and our 6 policy asks.

Position statements

Circumcision of Infant Males Position Statement

Early childhood: Importance of Early Years Position Statement

Inequities in Child Health Position Statement

Updated: Genital examinations in girls and young women a clinical practice guideline

Health and the National Disability Insurance Scheme Position Statement

The role of paediatricians in the provision of mental health services to children and young people

Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Young People

Newborn Screening in Australia

Protecting Children is Everybody’s Business – Paediatricians responding to the challenge of child protection

Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Oral Health in Children and Young People

Physical Punishment of Children

The Health and Well-being of Incarcerated Adolescents

Decision-Making at the End of Life in Infants, Children and Adolescents

Routine Adolescent Psychosocial Health Assessment

Health of children in out of home care (scheduled for review)

Breastfeeding Policy (scheduled for review)

Joint Statement and Recommendations on Vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy

Female genital mutilation/cutting

Recent submissions

RACP submission to the South Australian Public Health (Early Childhood Services and Immunisation) Amendment Bill - Discussion Paper consultation

RACP written submission to Strategic Directions for Australian Maternity Services (consultation paper 2)

RACP submission to National Children’s Commissioner report: Australia’s progress implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

RACP submission to NSW Inquiry into Support for New Parents and Babies

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Submission: The diagnostic process for children, adolescents and adults referred for assessment of autism spectrum disorder in Australia: National guideline

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Costs, Productivity Commission Position Paper

Invitation to comment on MAIF Tribunal Amended Terms of Reference

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians: Northern Territory Committee Submission to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

RACP Submission to Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

RACP podcast

Episode 17 - Better Practice in Paeds

Policy and media outputs

2019 PCHD policy and media outputs
2018 PCHD policy and media outputs
2017 PCHD policy and media outputs
2016 PCHD policy and media outputs
2015 PCHD policy and media outputs

Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine

Adolescents and young adults face a range of specific health challenges that, if properly managed, can enhance their health and wellbeing throughout adulthood. The RACP advocates for health system responses to the unique health needs of this age group. This work is led by the RACP’s Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee. This has included a particular focus on access to appropriate health care for young people – particularly those with chronic health conditions.

This Committee has also contributed to advocacy on the health needs of LGBTQIA young people, the mental health of young people, and sexual and reproductive health care of young people.

Contribute your expertise

RACP Trainees and Physicians need to see Represent Your Profession or email or use the online contact form.

Related content

Read published RACP policies, position statements or submissions by searching the Policy and Advocacy Library or view the latest policy submissions.

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