Background: Barriers in access to pediatric surgical care are common in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but also exist in high-income countries, particularly in urban and rural areas. Methods: This article describes “Disparities in Access to Care”—held within the Social Injustice Symposium at the 2020 American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) Annual Meeting. Results: This symposium outlined disparities in access to care, illustrated by examples from pediatric trauma and neonatal surgery in U.S. urban, U.S. rural, and non-U.S. global locations (LMICs). Geographic and financial challenges were common to families from the rural U.S. and LMICs. In contrast, families in U.S. urban settings generally do not face geographic barriers, but are often economically and racially diverse and many face complex societal factors leading to poor outcomes. Systemic processes must be changed to improve pediatric surgical health outcomes. Conclusion: A comprehensive health system with an equal emphasis on supportive care and surgery is required in all settings. Global collaboration and partnerships can provide an avenue for advocacy and strategic innovation to improve quality of care.
- Access to care
- Global pediatric surgery
- Low- and middle-income countries
- Rural population health
- Urban population health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health