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“There is no reward penny for going out and picking up youths”: Issues in the design of accessible youth healthcare services in rural northern Sweden
journal contributionposted on 04.06.2020, 00:00 by C Hultstrand Ahlin, Dean Carson, I Goicolea
Objective: There is a continuing challenge to ensure equitable access to youth healthcare services in small rural communities. Sweden’s ‘youth clinic’ system is an attempt to provide comprehensive youth health services from a single centre, but many small rural communities have not adopted the youth clinic model. This study uses one case study to examine what the issues might be in establishing a youth clinic in a small rural community. The objective of this paper is to examine the issues around youth healthcare access in one municipality without a youth clinic, and to explore whether and how a youth clinic model might contribute to access in this municipality. Results: Three categories emerged from the analysis; (i) rural closeness; both good and bad, (ii) youth are not in the centre of the healthcare organization, and (iii) adapting youth clinics to a rural setting. While limited to one case example, the study provides valuable insights into youth health service planning in particular types of rural communities. This paper identifed structural barriers to developing youth-specifc services, and some alternative approaches that might be more suitable to smaller communities.