“A sector where we must invest”

“A sector where we must invest”

How critical is the situation in pediatrics?

We lack doctors, as we saw in the winter of 2022, at the time of the triple Covid-gastro-bronchiolitis epidemic. With 8,500 pediatricians, France ranks 22nd out of 31 OECD countries for pediatric medical density. The needs are immense and urgent. The Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, has just announced that the number of trained doctors will increase to 12,000. But the proportion of time spent in pediatrics during medical studies has been reduced by half. However, children are not miniature adults: we therefore need to better train health professionals on their specific symptoms and pathologies. Our report recommends investing massively in all child care, both in town and in hospital, recognizing the specificities and time-consuming nature of children's medicine.

How can we improve this support?

To guarantee safe birth conditions, at any time and throughout the country, we propose to carry out deliveries with three qualified professionals – pediatrician, anesthetist, obstetrician at least – on a technical platform, even if it means redirecting the mothers to local maternity wards. For the 600,000 children suffering from chronic illnesses, we want families to have access to liberal advisors who monitor diabetes, asthma, etc. Mental health must also be greatly helped: we need more hospital beds and strengthening of means of medical-psychological centers. They could play a central role in the care of young people. But today, an appointment sometimes requires a year of waiting…

Measures should also be focused on prevention…

Yes, this is very important to us. Maternal and Child Protection (PMI), which is sorely lacking in resources, could be renovated and transformed into a “house of the first 1,000 days” in order to identify possible early symptoms and help families for daily life advice. Pediatricians could work there in parallel with an activity in the hospital or in an office. School medicine, moribund, must also regain a major role. I firmly believe that young children who are well cared for and listened to will make healthier adults. The expectations of families and professionals are immense.

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