Aim: Multiple stakeholders are involved in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The estimated over 90 million children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable members of the world’s population. We questioned :‘What would be the least paediatricians could do to contribute to the UHC?’
Methods: In a cross sectional study an international network of paediatricians engaged in children with disabling and rare conditions was questioned on eight of the UHC statements regarding child health in relation to primary care services, availability and affordability of diagnostics and therapies as well as digital health.
Results: Responders from Europe and Israel, Asia and the US practice in primary (ambulatory) care, secondary (hospital) care, tertiary (university hospital) care. According to 39/48 (81%) respondents promotion of paediatric primary care could reduce mortality and morbidity according to. Paediatricians could play an active role in providing quality information to increase access to health services for children with disabilities according to 40/48 (83%) responders. Improved data exchange is necessary to deliver primary care as a cornerstone according to 38/48 (79%) responders. Respondents practising in middle economy countries reported significantly more frequently than their colleagues in high economies countries about “out of pocket” payments for diagnostics and therapies as well as reduced availability. All respondents agreed that taking no action to support the achievement of UHC, is not an option.
Conclusion: The economic gap in diagnostic and therapeutic facilities in paediatric practice should be considered in achieving UHC. An international paediatric network should support achieving the UHC by providing adequate paediatric training and quality (digital) information.