Los Angeles county Health survey is a timely, population based survey that gathers information on cultural issues of human population, human behavior, health conditions and the kind of services provided to them. This report is based on the survey that was conducted from October 2002 till April 2003 on Children with Special Health Care Needs (SHCN). Definition of SHCN according to the Federal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) is the overall identification of the children with higher requirement of service and support and to mention the importance of integrated systems of health care and other support services required to overcome their need. For example, this report includes children with several chronic ailments developmental disorders like autism, birth defects and certain emotional conditions like depression, addictions etc.
This survey report suggested that nearly about 4 lakh children i.e. approximately 15% of all children in Los Angeles County required special health care. It was found that there were major differences in the percentages of children with SHCNs across different racial groups and geographic areas. The highest rates were reported among African-American children and specifically in the West Valley and Antelope Valley SPAs. In Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander children, the rates was high among those living in more moneyed households; hence indicate that children of lower income group in these populations might be at high risk of having unrecognized conditions. But infact, low rate was reported in the Metro SPA, a region with a high concentration of low income group Latino children. From these findings we can assume the need for concentric efforts to intensify detection of children with unidentified SHCNs and, among those identified, requires appropriate services. This survey also found that even though most children with SHCNs had health insurances coverage, but approximately one in five of them had difficulty in getting the required services. And it was more prevalent among children without health insurance and among poor people and Latino children belonging to Spanish-speaking families.
During the planning of intervention regarding this case, more research and counseling must be done to the parents of children with chronic ailments and with emotional conditions like depression, addiction and to students in school and colleges at community level with the help of health care innovation exchange program. There must be certain agencies for healthcare research that would provide information on health care outcomes, quality, cost and expenditure, use and access. From this report we can use the information that major public policy must be made to provide services and support to low income children SHCN and to the one below poverty mark especially to the category which do not have any health insurance coverage. There must be certain policies which do not discriminate children with SHCN on the basis of race and ethnicity and language.
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