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