Report on differing models of child primary health care across Europe

Date: 21st February 2019
Category: Health and health services, Basic Health and Welfare

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The Models of Child Health Appraised (MOCHA) project has spent three years identifying and critically assessing the differing models of child primary health care that are used across Europe. 

Children are a fifth of Europe’s population; they are citizens, future workers, future parents and carers, and the future elderly population. Yet they are dependent on society providing effective primary care, which provides some 90% of all health contact, and until the MOCHA project, there has been little research into how well current services do this.

The MOCHA project appraised models of child primary health care in all 30 EU/EEA countries. Twenty partners used local agents, networks, and literature to assess aspects including structural, cultural, sociological and political. An External Advisory Board assisted the project; partners from Australia, Switzerland and the USA gave global context. MOCHA has reached 6 final conclusions to plan a healthy future for Europe’s population. Here are the six conclusions:

  • Primary care for children in each country comprises many components; their cohesion as a system is determined more by their accessibility, capacity, and relationship than by their style (such as general or paediatrician primary care practitioner).
  • Effectiveness is primarily determined by access, workforce, service coordination and continuity, inter-sectoral governance, sociocultural linkage, and financing. However, robust appraisal is hampered by the lack of comparative data.
  • Optimal primary care for children is child-centric, equitable, proactive, integrated with specialist, social care and education services, and based on (and yielding) robust evidence.
  • Interdependence of health, economy and society is more influential than system construct, but there is inadequate public health, primary care and inter-sectoral collaboration on child health and development concerns.
  • Children are unacceptably invisible in health data and policy in Europe, including rights definition, data sets, research activity, e-health, and policy innovation.
  • Focused cross-Directorate and inter-agency activity within Europe would strengthen evidence and policy to facilitate stronger national systems.

Read more on the final report click here