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Diversity of child health care in Europe
  1. Hilary Hoey1,2,
  2. Massimo Pettoello-Mantovani2,3,
  3. Mehmet Vural2,4
  1. 1Paediatrics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
  2. 2European Paediatric Association–Union of National European Paediatric Societies and Associations (EPA-UNEPSA), Berlin, Germany
  3. 3Paediatrics, Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, University of Foggia, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
  4. 4Paediatrics, Istanbul University–Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey
  1. Correspondence to Professor Hilary Hoey, Paediatrics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; hilaryhoey{at}

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The health of a nation depends on the health of its children, and it is now evident that child health underpins health in adolescents, later life and also in subsequent generations for a variety of reasons including environmental, metabolic and epigenetic changes. There are many challenges in child health in Europe and globally.1 2 Inequalities in health status and health outcomes of children and adolescents within Europe are of great concern to paediatric societies and all those working in child health.3

Diversity a valuable resource

Diversity, or noticeable heterogeneity, for many years has generated controversy on whether it is a resource for success or a barrier to improvement. Many feel uncomfortable with the term diversity and some academics and businesses have replaced it with ‘inclusion’ and ‘equity’. Diversity is difficult to interpret in many European contexts, including science and particularly in the care of children, due to differing historical, cultural, social and economic influences. This may lead to misunderstandings, detrimental conflicts, resentment and resistance, so that its benefits are not always realised. However, diversity and inclusion should be perceived as a valuable resource to help provide optimum healthcare for European children living in different social, cultural and economic environments. We should resist the temptation to indiscriminately equalise clinical approaches, but at the same time not compromise therapies, protocols or outcome. We should support countries to provide child health services that best meet the needs of their individual country.

Diversity in paediatric care

European paediatrics has a longstanding history of coping with the concept of diversity.4 From the ashes of the two world wars that engulfed the globe during the past century, Europeans moved to build a better future. Equity and social justice among others were …

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  • Contributors All three authors (HH, MP-M, MV) contributed to the conception and design of the work, drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content. All three authors approved the submitted version. They also agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.