In true #connectingEurope spirit, YEAP chair Nora Karara visited the conference of the Young Hungarian Pediatric Society in June 2024, meeting Hungarian YEAP delegates Júlia Érdi and Zsófia Csizek (president). They brought together young paediatricians in training to discuss critical areas needing attention to improve health systems for children and adolescents and the doctors who care for them in Europe. 

It was particularly interesting to see that the aspects mentioned by Hungarian pediatricians mirrored those identified in internal YEAP discussions. This consistency highlights that these perceived issues are universally recognized across Europe by pediatric trainees, reinforcing the importance of a united and strong voice such as the European Academy of Paediatrics to address them. By focusing on these key areas, we can work towards a more empathic, efficient and effective healthcare system for children and adolescents that prioritizes sustainable prevention, supports healthcare workers, and ensures high-quality care for all our patients.

The 9 key areas identified were:

  1. Prevention:
    • Prevention emerged as the most frequently mentioned issue. Participants stressed the importance of increased focus on preventive measures to tackle health problems early. This includes addressing obesity and promoting healthy eating habits, both of which were noted as crucial elements of preventive healthcare.
  2. Education and Training:
    • Professional Education: There was a significant emphasis on enhancing education for healthcare providers. This includes better training programs, practical education, skill improvement, and fostering essential qualities such as empathy and equality.
    • Parent or Patient Education: Educating parents and patients was equally critical, with several mentions highlighting the need for school programs and raising health awareness from a young age.
  3. Vaccination:
    • The importance of vaccination programs and combating vaccine hesitancy was noted four times, underscoring the need for effective communication and public trust in vaccines.
  4. Funding:
    • Increased funding was a recurrent theme, with “money” mentioned five times. This is essential for supporting various aspects of healthcare, from training to resources and overall infrastructure.
  5. Communication and Information Sharing:
    • Improving communication within healthcare teams and effective information sharing were highlighted four times as crucial for better patient outcomes and team coordination.
  6. Harmonization and Guidelines:
    • The creation of unified, easily accessible guidelines was mentioned twice, indicating the need for standardized protocols across different regions and institutions.
  7. Systemic Issues:
    • Availability of resources, lack of personnel, centralization, and the need for more nurses were recurrent themes, reflecting systemic shortages that need addressing.
  8. Burnout and Mental Health:
    • Addressing the burnout of healthcare workers and the mental health of both providers and patients were recognized as critical concerns.
  9. Innovative Programs and Initiatives:
    • There were calls for innovative programs, such as exchange initiatives and involving whole families in the care process, to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes.
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