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Med J Aust. 2003 Jul 21;179(2):95-7.

Integrated critical care: an approach to specialist cover for critical care in the rural setting.

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Department of Critical Care, Port Macquarie Base Hospital, PO Box 2466, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444.


Critical care encompasses elements of emergency medicine, anaesthesia, intensive care, acute internal medicine, postsurgical care, trauma management, and retrieval. In metropolitan teaching hospitals these elements are often distinct, with individual specialists providing discrete services. This may not be possible in rural centres, where specialist numbers are smaller and recruitment and retention more difficult. Multidisciplinary integrated critical care, using existing resources, has developed in some rural centres as a more relevant approach in this setting. The concept of developing a specialty of integrated critical-care medicine is worthy of further exploration.

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