A new article for InSight, the Medical Journal of Australia’s online platform and highest circulating e-newsletter for medical professionals, provides strategies to create more equitable health care systems for children.
Children who start school with health and developmental problems are more likely to track forward to adulthood with poorer physical, cognitive and social outcomes than their peers.
The article, written by Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Professor Harriet Hiscock, and Associate Professor Kim Dalziel, discusses opportunities and challenges for preventing avoidable inequities that cause differential health outcomes for children.
The article suggests that addressing inequities early in life “has the potential to fundamentally change children’s chances and create a healthier and more productive future adult population.”
The existing universal health care provided by nurses for young children in Australia is proposed as an important platform to address inequities as:
- it is free for families
- it has services that are based on prevention and early intervention
- it has the potential to be re-oriented to ensure services are offered with a level and intensity based on need
Community and specialist care services in Australia are other integral components of the healthcare system that can be optimised for children.
The article discusses how the cost of these services may act as a barrier to access for vulnerable families.