Paediatric care begins the day your baby is born. Newborn babies must have the heel prick test at 5 to 7 days. This involves making an appointment - which hopefully you can do by ringing the public helpline and then bringing the baby to your local health centre for this test which is designed to detect possible metabolic problems such as hypothyroidism or phenylketonuria (an enzyme deficiency that can cause brain damage). You will receive the results by mail and should report to your paediatrician if you do not.
The health programme for babies and children includes a vaccination schedule that is in keeping with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.
The well child programme also includes regular visits with the paediatrician. The first visit should take place two weeks after birth and from there your doctor will tell you when to schedule each subsequent visit. Regular well child check-ups continue through four years old.
There is a special programme for children who have problems with bedwetting. Ask your doctor about the programme for "enuresis nocturnal" (the fancy name for bedwetting) that usually accepts children from around six years old.