Paediatrician gone AWOL? Here’s what to do.
In the past two years there have been several instances where paediatricians have suddenly closed their doors or not been contactable for extended periods of time. This can happen to anyone. Either they, or someone they love, suddenly becomes unwell. We also have several paediatricians who have announced they are retiring so patients will need to find new paediatriciains.
If this is your situation, then you may find some useful advice in this blog I wrote back in 2022 when Dr Elizabeth Green closed her practice.
May 2023 update
The Department of Health have provided their advice here on what to do if you are struggling finding a paediatrician. This includes referring to the government-funded Child Development Service. You can do this at the same time as seeking a private referral.
If you are trying to transfer to another paediatrician, it may help to be clear if you already have a diagnosis and/or are stable on medication. If your GP is willing to be a co-prescriber then that is a bonus as it takes some of the administrative burden off the practice who may be considering accepting your referral.
April 2023 update
I no longer recommend ringing around clinics to see if they are accepting referrals. In most cases you will get a blanket no or asked to get a referral first.
It is very hard for a practice to tell you on the phone if they are accepting referrals and then by the time you come back to them with a referral that capacity may have gone.
Their processes also differ but most will need the information contained in your referral to triage your referral and make sure you have been referred to the right place.
Dr Elizabeth Green has closed her practice
A close friend rang me in a panic. Her son’s paediatrician appointment had been cancelled.
She had just opened a letter that read:
“Dr [Elizabeth] Green has had to travel to Melbourne suddenly to care for a family member and will not be able to return for some time. As such she has made the difficult decision to close her practice permanently.”. I cringed. I knew what was coming.
What the hell do I do now?
“What the hell do I do now? How do I find another paediatrician? I know there are HUGE waitlists. And what about his ADHD medication? We were going to get a new script at our next appointment.”
Okay, so there were a few more words used commonly by sailors but I have edited the conversation so you get the gist.
Dr Elizabeth Green has helped so many Perth families since qualifying as a paediatrician in 1997.