Latvia's healthcare provision for children has huge room for improvement

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Eurostat data published May 26 shows Latvia with some of the least comprehensive healthcare provision for children in the European Union.

For the EU as a whole, in 2021, 3.6% of children below 16 years old in households with children had unmet medical needs, indicating an increase of 2 percentage points (pp) since the last report in 2017 (1.6%). This share was higher (5.3%) for children living in households with one adult but slightly lower at 3.4% for households with two or more adults. 

Among EU members, the highest shares of children with unmet medical needs living in households with children were reported in Poland (7.3%) and Latvia (6.4%), followed by Hungary and Romania (both 4.7%), and Spain (4.6%).

In contrast, the lowest shares were reported in Austria (0.3%) and Luxembourg (0.4%), followed by Croatia (0.9%), and Malta, Lithuania, and Cyprus (all with 1.5% each). 

2021 healthcare and dental provision for children
2021 healthcare and dental provision for children

The situation with regard to dental care was even worse. Across the EU 4.4% of the children living in households with children didn’t receive the dental care they needed, an increase of 1.8 pp since 2017. The highest shares of children with unmet needs for dental care living in households with children were registered in Latvia (7.7%), followed by Spain (7.1%), Hungary (7.0%), Slovenia (6.8%), and Portugal (6.4%).

At the bottom of the scale, the lowest shares were registered in Luxembourg (0.6%), Croatia (0.8%), Sweden (1.1%), and Austria and Italy (both with 1.2%).

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