Children with Complex Health Care Needs

The number of children with complex health care needs living in communities across Canada is unknown.

Practitioners report that the technological and medical advances have improved survival rates for children born with life-threatening physical conditions. This has resulted in an increase in the number of children requiring specialized community care. Massive trauma and degenerative disease also result in complex care needs.

In the United States, it is estimated that between 12% to 18% of children have “special health care needs”.1The families are responsible for ensuring that the financial, physical, emotional, developmental and social challenges associated with caring for their children are met.  Emergent issues include gaps in care; communication breakdown; lack of support for parents and home care; lack of continuity of care, and lack of access to respite programs.1

1Dewan T, Cohen E. Children with medical complexity in Canada. Paediatrics & Child Health. 2013;18(10):518-522. June 17, 2017.

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