The United States’ Pediatric Healthcare Services

State Government Policy Analysis in the Healthcare
August 24, 2022
Vee is a 26-year-old African-American woman who presents with a history of non-suicidal self-injury, specifically cutting her arms and legs, since she was a teenager.
August 24, 2022

The United States’ Pediatric Healthcare Services

The sources of pediatric primary care in the United States

The US government has tried to develop the healthcare system that will be characterized by efficiency and universal coverage (which means addressing the needs of the entire population). Pediatric primary care is the area of considerable concern as the number of children is increasing, but the number of sources of care for them is not growing at the corresponding pace. Peltz et al. (2016) state that 1 in 5 children living in the country reside in rural areas where healthcare facilities are quite scarce. Children’s hospitals, as well as subspecialists and pediatricians, are mainly located in urban or suburban areas.

Community-based services are also developing effectively in urban areas, but they are poorly managed or simply non-existent in rural parts of the USA. Home healthcare is less typical of rural areas as compared to urban settings. Rural children have to travel long distances to receive the necessary care, which is associated with significant negative health outcomes of such patients. The development of technology can help rural residents obtain access to high-quality services. Telehealth and similar technologies can be a short-term solution. However, the construction of children’s hospitals is the necessary ground for addressing the issue mentioned.

Pediatric populations that lack access to health-care service

The reform of the American healthcare system is aimed at increasing the coverage as access to high-quality healthcare services is still limited for some populations. These are mainly underprivileged groups who have limited financial resources. Minority children often have no health insurance, which means limited opportunities and quite negative health outcomes for them. The poverty rate is rather high as slightly over 20% of American children live in poverty (Kuo et al., 2012). As has been mentioned above, residents of rural areas also have limited access to healthcare services as there is a significant lack of healthcare facilities and professionals in these areas. Mathison et al. (2013) claim that people often attend facilities due to their proximity even though they do not provide the necessary scope of services. Emergency facilities are often chosen instead of visits to the necessary healthcare practitioner.

The barriers to children in accessing health-care services in the United States

It has been acknowledged that financial issues are the major barrier to accessing healthcare services in the USA (Burns, Dunn, Brady, Starr, & Blosser, 2013). Many children do not have health insurance that limits their access to a wide range of services. The development of the US healthcare system has resulted in some improvement in this area. For instance, Medicaid options are available for many families. Burns et al. (2013) also note that healthcare providers often come up with various strategies aimed at helping underprivileged children to access healthcare services. It is noteworthy that other barriers exist. Legal issues prevent children of immigrants from accessing healthcare services available within Medicaid options (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2016). Besides, linguistic issues prevent immigrant children from obtaining healthcare services. Many people coming to the United States have limited language skills. To address this barrier, hospitals often have interpreters. Furthermore, they tend to hire diverse staff to make sure that people of different cultural backgrounds can be treated properly. Finally, the lack of sources of pediatric primary care is a serious obstacle. Rural areas are specifically vulnerable as there are usually a few facilities and even difficulties with transportation. The government is trying to address this issue by establishing more healthcare facilities, investing in the development of community-based healthcare, and so on.


Burns, C., Dunn, A., Brady, M., Starr, N., Blosser, C., & Garzon, D. (2013). Pediatric primary care. Saint Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Mathison, D. J., Chamberlain, J. M., Cowan, N. M., Engstrom, R. N., Fu, L. Y, Shoo, A., & Teach, S. J. (2013). Primary care spatial density and nonurgent emergency department utilization: A new methodology for evaluating access to care. Academic Pediatrics13(3), 278-285.

Peltz, A., Wu, C. L., White, M. L., Wilson, K. M, Lorch, S. A., & Thurm, C.,… Berry, J. G. (2016). Characteristics of Rural Children Admitted to Pediatric Hospitals. Pediatrics137(5), 153-156.