County hospitals short of pediatricians ({{commentsTotal}})

In 2015, 19 percent of newborn children were in the care of doctors with no specialization in obstetrics or pediatrics.
In 2015, 19 percent of newborn children were in the care of doctors with no specialization in obstetrics or pediatrics. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Several Estonian hospitals lack specialist pediatricians, but are still offering obstetrics as well as child emergency services. Several doctors’ associations are unhappy with the situation, particularly where pediatricians are replaced with other specialists.

In 2015 14,105 children were born in Estonia, 19% of which in hospitals where there was no pediatrician present to examine the children.

The situation is less problematic wherever there are large regional hospitals, like in Tallinn and Tartu, where most of the children are born every year. There, pediatricians and other specialists are available around the clock both for regular as well as emergency care.

According to the president of Estonia’s association of pediatricians, Ülle Einberg, there are hospitals where pediatricians are not on duty 24 hours a day, and their work done instead by anesthesiologists or specialists for internal medicine.

The situation is particularly difficult in Rakvere Hospital, where there is no pediatric service at all, and not only obstetrics, but also emergency pediatric medicine are a problem.

According to doctors’ associations, any hospital that cannot offer obstetrics or child emergency services carried out by specialists should no longer be allowed to offer those.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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