Proportion of children in Europe with unmet medical needs


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New data from Eurostat show that in 2017, 1.8 per cent of children aged below 16 years in the European Union (EU) had medical needs that were not treated. 

The figures were gathered through interviews with households and were slightly higher for children living in households with one adult (2.2%) than those sharing households with two or more adults (1.8%).

The reasons for unmet medical needs were varied and included long waiting lists, inability to afford treatment, long travel times or no means of transport or lack of time because of work or caring for family members or others.

The countries with the highest share of children with unmet medical needs were Belgium (8.7%) and Romania (7.4%), followed by Sweden (4.3%), Finland (3.3%), Czechia (2.7%), Greece and Latvia (both with 2.4%) and Lithuania (2.3%). 

In contrast, the countries with the lowest volume of children with unmet medical needs were Austria (close to 0.0%), Germany (0.1%) and Hungary (0.2%), followed by Spain (0.3%), Croatia (0.4%), Malta (0.5%), Slovakia (0.6%) and Portugal (0.9%).

Data published by Eurostat earlier this month showed more than 95 per cent of children in the EU were considered to be in good or very good general health in 2017. 

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