Centro per la Salute del Bambino onlus, Trieste
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Key words: Child health, Health services, Europe
Child health outcomes and models of child health care are compared across Western Europe. Countries are responding in different ways to the shift in prevailing child health problems from acute to chronic illnesses. Although overall child health has improved throughout Europe and all countries have low mortality rates, important inequities remain as well as significant differences in the way care is delivered, which seem to be reflected in different health outcomes. The development of systems more responsive to evolving child health needs will need reforms of health services in the direction of multidisciplinary team work and increased role of nurses. Improved training in paediatrics and child health for all primary care practitioners is necessary to achieve results, as well as better integration between primary care and specialist services, particularly for chronic diseases. Indicators of quality of care and inter-services collaboration should be introduced to monitor results and provide incentives to good practices. Future scenarios for child health In Europe, may not see further progress if a combination of more effective health services and public health policies to address inequities and emerging threats will not be adopted.
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