The Rheumatology service provides care and treatment for children and young people with bone and joint diseases including juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It is a free public health service available to all Medicare eligible children who live in Queensland or northern New South Wales.
Care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, made of specialist doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pathology and pharmacy staff.
The specialist team can see and treat children in outpatient clinics, inpatient wards and day admission areas.
Outpatient clinic days and times vary, Monday to Friday.
Telehealth services are available for some regional patients.
Outreach clinics in rural areas are not currently offered, however travel subsidies are available for patients who need to attend all outpatient and inpatient services. Check with your local health care facility for eligibility, booking and claim details.
Who can access this service?
Referrals are accepted up to a child’s 16th birthday.
Existing patients with complex care needs
Referrals are accepted up to a child’s 18th birthday.
The service is available to children living in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Do I need a referral?
You will need a formal referral to access this service.
New patients are usually referred to the Rheumatology Service after being assessed by their local doctor/GP, specialist general paediatrician, or from another Queensland Health facility.
*A referral must be received before an appointment can be made.
We offer public appointments and the service is free of charge for Medicare holders.
Information for health professionals
Rheumatology provides inpatient and outpatient services to children and young people. The types of conditions diagnosed, treated and managed include:
- juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
- juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)
- systemic sclerosis and scleroderma
- chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO)
- periodic fever syndromes and auto inflammatory conditions
- joint hypermobility
- inflammatory brain disease
- inpatient, day admission and outpatient facilities are available
- intra articular steroid injections under general and local anaesthetic
- steroid, cytotoxic and biologic medication infusions
- patient education support and treatment monitoring
- collaboration for care with other specialities (including General Paediatrics, Opthalmology, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Nephrology, Neurology, Orthopaedic, Medical Imaging, Cardiac and Anaesthesia)
- adolescent transition service.
Australian Rheumatology Association
Paediatric Rheumatology Information Europe
Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne Rheumatology Service
Dr Ben Whitehead BSc, MBBS (Hons), FRACP
Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologists
Dr Rebecca James MBBS (Hons), BSc (Med), BA, FRACP
Dr Megan Cann MBBS (Hons), FRACP