The 24 h availability of intensive care consultants (intensivists) has been shown to improve outcomes in adult intensive care units (ICU) in the UK. We tested whether such availability would improve standardised mortality ratios when compared to out-of-hours cover by general paediatricians in the paediatric ICU setting of a medium-income developing country. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) improved significantly from 1.57 (95%CI 1.25-1.95) with non-specialist care to 0.88 (95%CI 0.63-1.19) with intensivist care (rate ratio 0.56, 95% CI 0.47-0.67). Mortality odds ratio decreased by 0.234, 0.246 and 0.266 in the low, moderate and high-risk patients. 24 h availability of intensivists was associated with improved outcomes and use of resources in paediatric intensive care in a developing country.