On a national level, several factors are responsible for Sweden's leading position in achieving the excellent health of children because Sweden has experienced a long history of peace and success in establishing a parliamentary democracy throughout the 20th century. Among the different sectors of society, Sweden has been able to focus on prevention and health promotion. The Swedish health care system is publicly financed based on local taxation. Pediatricians working in secondary and tertiary care are employed by the public sector, whereas family physicians are employed by both the private and public sectors. The pediatric departments at county and university levels provide a high quality of inpatient care for neonates and children. The county hospital pediatric departments typically include one neonatal ward and one ward for older children. Subspecialization exists even at the county level, and there is close cooperation between the county level and subspecialist units at the university level. Within the primary care sector, most children receive care from family physicians. The majority of family physicians have completed 3 months of pediatrics in their basic training program. In the more densely populated areas there are also pediatric ambulatory care centers working mostly with referrals from the family physicians. Preventive care is carried out at midwife-led maternity health centers, nurse-led Child Health Centers, and nurse-led school health care settings and reach almost everyone (99%). All health care for children and adolescents is free of charge up to 18 years of age.
We present a historical and analytical overview of the Russian child health care system describing strengths and challenges of the system. Main indicators of social environment and children's health, general demographics, and socioeconomic factors of Russia are described. The Russian health care system has preserved positive elements of the former Soviet model of pediatric care. However, beginning in 1991, it has been altered greatly in its funding and management. The child health care system is composed of a special network of outpatient and inpatient facilities. The key element of pediatric community care is the pediatric polyclinic, staffed by district pediatricians and nurses. Undergraduate pediatric training is separate from adult medical training. From day one onward, future pediatricians are trained at separate pediatric faculties of universities. Thus, they qualify as general pediatricians after only 2 years of postgraduate training. It should be emphasized that the gap between the health status of children in developed countries and the Russian Federation is largely due to the influence of socioeconomic determinants, such as traffic accidents, poverty, pollution, and hazardous life styles, including binge drinking. Further improvements of children's health require protective measures by the state to address the underlying socioeconomic determinants.