Luxembourg has made a notable achievement in child healthcare as recent data from Eurostat shows the country has one of the lowest rates of unmet medical and dental needs among children in the European Union.

The report, published on Friday, offers a comprehensive overview of the health of children below 16 years old across EU member states in 2021​.

The Eurostat data reveals that 3.6% of children in the EU had unmet medical needs in 2021, representing a 2 percentage point increase from 2017.

Read also: Healthcare in Luxembourg - How to co-insure family members

The situation for dental care was slightly worse, with 4.4% of children not receiving necessary dental care, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from 2017.

These rates were higher in households with one adult, where 5.3% of children had unmet medical needs and 7.1% lacked proper dental care.

However, Luxembourg's performance stands out as an exception to this worrying trend. With only 0.4% of children experiencing unmet medical needs and 0.6% lacking proper dental care, Luxembourg has the some of the lowest rates in both categories among EU countries, outperformed only by Austria in the case of unmet medical needs.

Other countries with low rates include Croatia, Malta, Lithuania, and Cyprus for medical needs, and Croatia, Sweden and Italy for dental care needs​.

At the other end of the scale, the highest rates of unmet medical and dental needs were found in countries like Poland, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, and Spain. In particular, Poland reported 7.3% of children with unmet medical needs and Latvia had  7.7% of children with unmet dental care needs.


© Eurostat

The data were collected through interviews with one member of households that included at least one child aged below 16. The data highlights various reasons why children's medical and dental needs could go unmet, including inability to afford the treatment, long waiting lists, long travel times or lack of transport, or lack of time due to work or caring responsibilities.

It's also important to note that the data reliability for Germany and Ireland was categorised as low, suggesting some caution should be taken when interpreting results for these countries​​.

Luxembourg's success comes despite concerns that paediatricians are becoming increasingly difficult to find, although it's worth noting that outcomes may have changed since the data were collected in 2021.