Specialized care continues to challenge families living in rural areas of California. There doctors with knowledge of complex conditions can be hours away, and coordinating care can require a day of travel or more for treatment.
When a family faces particularly difficult situations – where a child has multiple ailments that require multiple specialists, the challenges increase exponentially. A trip from rural Yuba County to Sacramento is one hour each way, or to see a specialist in Palo Alto requires a six-hour round trip. A clinic at UC Davis Medical Center is open one day per month, so missing that appointment isn’t an option.
Parents are forced – both by privacy laws and a lack of coordinated care – to serve in multiple roles such as parent, scheduler, care coordinator, and bureaucratic trailblazer to help navigate from one service provider to another.
Local health care is virtually non-existent for children with special needs living in rural California.
Few doctors who are trained to treat the complex conditions that afflict these children practice in remote parts of the state. Traveling to major cities where physicians are more plentiful is often a day-long journey. Families often find that the multiple doctors their children see don’t have a system for communicating with each other, and parents must coordinate their child’s care themselves.
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