Dear Prof. Arunas Valiulis, dear members of the executive committee
We wish to congratulate you, Prof. Valiulis, as president of the Lithuanian pediatric society for the work you did to make your society well known throughout Europe. Your society is not only a member in EAP and ECPCP, but also participates actively in the European associations.
We have been informed that a Lithuanian primary pediatric care society will soon be founded. We appreciate this step and assure you that we from ECPCP will support you as far as possible.
An independent society for ambulatory primary care is important and will strengthen pediatrics and childcare in Lithuania as a whole. Primary pediatric care (PPC) is the pillar of pediatric care in the majority of European countries. ECPCP represents 21 primary care societies in 19 European countries. If you wish that well trained pediatricians care for children and adolescents in the community they need a representative society in every European country.
This cannot be done through academic centers because they have quite different health care tasks and have to focus on tertiary pediatric care. Ambulatory childcare is provided close to the community where parents in first access, approach the pediatric team with all problems.
Pediatric residents in all European countries are well trained but training does not prepare them for community work. Our independent pediatric primary care societies (within ECPCP) aim to provide specific training and CME for all pediatricians working in the community. The focus of this additional training should be on prevention, social pediatrics and primary health care for chronically ill patients. Recently, ECPCP published a curriculum for pediatric primary care in order to help countries to provide pediatric residents with specific knowledge and competences for their job. Countries will adapt and adopt this curriculum soon.
The creation of a PPC society is necessary to insure that community pediatrics becomes a professional and scientific discipline. A good health system must afford pediatricians in ambulatory care. Primary care pediatricians need a representative body under the umbrella of their national society. There are political tendencies that aim to replace pediatricians with providers having less specific training. This weakens pediatrics as a whole. Any change of the pediatrician’s role in child services in Europe will result in a decrease of service quality and less satisfaction among families. A PPC society has the role to advocate that governments must appreciate the proven benefits of trained provider’s in ambulatory pediatrics and thus help to fulfil the UN declaration of the rights of the child to have the best medical care possible. The new Lithuanian society will surely have an impact on all Baltic countries.
Again, we congratulate our colleagues in Lithuania for their important step forward and we will do all in our power to support the founding of the new society.
Dr. Gottfried Huss, President
Executive Bureau of ECPCP