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The integration of health services for children

Public Health
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0033-3506(58)80095-5
  • Medicine


Summary An attempt has been made to describe the present services provided for children, and the various types of medical personnel working in the field of child care. Suggestions have been made as to how the different medical groups might operate separately, and collectively, to form a child health team. It is recognised that there are many different ways in which the health services for children may be integrated, by those responsible for, and participating in, the different branches of the health service. We have indicated ways in which the general practitioners might be encouraged to play a more important part in the preventive services, and how the assistant medical officers for child welfare, and school health, can be made to feel responsible members of the health team. We have tried to show how keen medical officers of the present day can have a satisfying and valuable career provided that they adapt their thinking to modern ways, and look ahead to a future, in which their function, although it continues to change, will not lose its essential importance. Some ideas are offered on how the medical officer of health, and the senior maternity and child welfare officer, can influence the integration of the existing services in their area, not only by their own efforts and those of their staffs, but also by co-operation with general practitioners and paediatric colleagues. This paper is, therefore, a plea for a review of the services for children in all regions and local authority areas. We have the framework in this country for a comprehensive and integrated health service for children. Given a clear conception of the function of each member of the team, and enthusiastic leadership, we could surely reduce the remaining hazards to child life and health, to minimal proportions.

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