Lack of access to paediatric cardiology services in the public health system in four major urban centres in Perú.
Cardiology in the Young
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For one-third of the Peruvian population living in large cities outside the capital city Lima, there is no access to paediatric cardiology services provided by the public health care system. Children with suspected CHD living in these areas are referred to the adult cardiologist working at the regional hospitals for care and treatment. This is a consequence of the universal health care system and the heavily skewed distribution of the health care workforce towards the capital city of Lima. This imbalance has resulted in a severe shortage of paediatric cardiologists practicing outside of Lima and the adult cardiologists that remain are left to make up for this deficit.To gain a better understanding of the current model of care for children with suspected CHD within the public health care system in Peru, we surveyed adult cardiologists from four major urban centres that serve one-third of the Peruvian population outside of Lima. We determined that adult cardiologists spend a significant amount of time treating children, but lack the specialised training and equipment to provide model care. The cardiologists indicated that receiving additional training and appropriate equipment would help enable them to provide proper care for these children.