Falling back to experience: retired paediatric professors as a solution to Europe’s child health care crisis?

J. Ehrich 1,2, N. Nwaneri 3, N.G. De Santo 4

1European Paediatric Association/Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations (EPA/UNEPSA), Berlin, Germany; 2 Children’s Hospital, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; 3 Department of Philosophy, Loyola University of Chicago, USA; 4 Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

Background. Human resources of child health care service systems have a major impact on child health.  However, there is no formula available to determine the right number of paediatricians with the right age and skill mix in a given country. Several countries in Europe have reported a shortage of paediatricians at a time when general child health care is in crisis for a multitude of reasons.

Aims. To study the role of emeriti professors of paediatrics in children health care.

Results. Our article presents the results of a European survey showing that retired professors tend to play a marginal role in the academic life of university children’s hospitals of the majority of 28 representative European countries.

Discussion. This lack of integration contrasts with the potentials of retired professors of paediatrics concerning knowledge and experience in supporting child health care services and in developing strategies for coping with the crisis of child health care.

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