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Department Information


    The Royal Children's Hospital is one of the largest Children's Hospitals in the Southern hemisphere, and from the point of view of paediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery, provides a service for the states of Victoria, Tasmania and the Southern part of New South Wales. In addition a tertiary referral service is provided for patients with complex congenital heart disease and for infant cardiac surgery for South Australia and also for the Northern Territory. A small number of infants with complex cardiac defects - in particular "Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome", are referred from Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland for surgical management of their heart problems. 

    The department is home to the National Paediatric Heart Transplant Centre and caters for patients needing heart transplantation from all over Australia. The department also caters for a number of overseas patients from South East Asia. The surgical department carries out somewhere in excess of six hundred surgical procedures per year. Approximately one third of open heart procedures are performed in the first six months of life (half of these in the first month of life). The surgical practice encompasses the full range of palliative and reconstructive procedures, including heart transplants.

    The cardiology department has twelve staff cardiologists who work full-time and part-time at the Royal Children's Hospital. A smaller service exists at Monash Medical Centre, which operates on a predominantly out-patient basis and is managed independently of the RCH service. There are eight funded training "Fellowships" for doctors hoping to develop skills in Paediatric Cardiology and additional Fellowship positions are available for trainees with outside funding. The department runs approximately 25 outpatient clinics per week in Melbourne, and peripheral clinics in referral centres in Victoria, Tasmania and Southern New South Wales.

    Approximately 8,000 echocardiograms are carried out annually - these including M-mode, 2D, Doppler and colour flow mapping, and transoesophageal studies.

    Approximately 500 cardiac catheter procedures are performed each year, including interventional procedures such as balloon valvuloplasty, balloon dilatation of coarctation, coil embolization, device occlusion of persistent ductus arteriosus, device closure of Atrial Septal Defects and muscular VSDs, balloon angioplasty and stent implantation.

    A comprehensive arrhythmia investigation and treatment service, includes Holter monitoring, exercise testing, electrophysiology studies, etc. and Radiofrequency ablation, for the elimination of arrhythmias.

    The Department has a wide range of research activities and interests and publishes extensively in academic journals as well as presenting its results at National and International meetings several times each year. (Publications)

    The City of Melbourne has a population of approximately three million, and is the second largest city in Australia. The state of Victoria is the southern-most state on the Australian mainland, and is also the smallest mainland state - having an area approximately the same as that of Great Britain.

    Melbourne is on a similar latitude in the southern hemisphere to Lisbon, Athens or San Francisco in the northern hemisphere. It has a moderate (Mediterranean) climate - being cool in winter (but without frost or snow) and hot and dry in the summer months (temperatures rising up to the high 30's or low 40's Celsius). The weather has a reputation for being rapidly changeable at all seasons of the year.

    For Fellowship information please click here