Pediatric Public Health Care in Short Supply [Barriers: Cost of Care, Physician Burnout, Physician Shortage, Location/Access]

This article entitled Pediatric hospital beds are in high demand for ailing children. Here’s why from March 16, 2023 on CNN discusses a very complicated situation that results in barriers to public health for children in the US. The article references issues such as 1) shortage of hospital beds, staff, nurses, 2) medicaid pays doctors who treat children less than those who treat adults, 3) mental health-related child illnesses require long stays, 4) shortage of beds for children require parents to travel to other facilities, and 5) facilities to care for children are closing in rural and certain areas. Here is a snippet from the article:

“The physical and mental burnout that occurred during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic has not gone away for overworked health care workers. Shortages of doctors and technicians are growing, experts say, but especially in skilled nursing. That, plus a shortage of people to train new nurses and the rising costs of hiring are leaving hospitals with unstaffed pediatric beds.

But a host of reasons building since well before the pandemic are also contributing. Children may be the future, but we aren’t investing in their health care in that way. With Medicaid reimbursing doctors at a lower rate for children, hospitals in tough situations sometimes put adults in those pediatric beds for financial reasons. And since 2019, children with mental health crises are increasingly staying in emergency departments for sometimes weeks to months, filling beds that children with other illnesses may need.”

Published by Sarah Buckius

Artist & Educator living in Santa Cruz, CA.

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