5 Pediatric Healthcare Challenges in Puerto Rico, and How Pravan Kids Solve Them

3 minute read | Posted by Fiarah J. Carrau on Feb 8, 2024 12:55:01 PM


There are little things more frustrating in Puerto Rico than trying to make a medical appointment. Primary care doctors, specialists, and more have become harder to find, and many are not accepting new patients. This panorama has also become a reality when it comes to pediatric care. 



A study conducted in 2011 to analyze the pediatricians' profile in Puerto Rico revealed that the median age of pediatricians in Puerto Rico was 54 years old (compared with 42 and 43 years old in the mainland US). Ten years later, the Puerto Rico Pediatrics Society (SPP by its acronym in Spanish) showed that 49% of pediatricians on the island are over 60 years old, that the median age for retirement is 67, and that 28% of the 331 pediatricians who completed the survey have a general pediatric practice in two municipalities or more. 

In addition, health insurance companies have not increased their premiums in 25 years, affecting pediatricians and the number of medical students who decide to major in general pediatrics, favoring subspecialties and threatening the stability of pediatrics in Puerto Rico. The plot thickens when you add hospitals in the mix and the lack of urgent and around-the-clock care on the island.

We’ve talked to a lot of parents, and these are their top five pediatric health challenges (and how Pravan Kids addresses them):

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1. Access to Pediatric Care

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The pediatrician shortage in Puerto Rico has left many parents struggling to access top-quality healthcare for their children. There are around 700 to 750 pediatricians on the island, and most of them are burned out, which sometimes means it's hard for parents to have access to them after hours. 

Our clinic is focused on holistic care, and our pediatrician manages a limited amount of patients. The membership model introduced by Pravan Kids ensures that we have a patient cap per doctor, hence managing burnout and ensuring quality time with both child and parent. 


2. The Healthcare System is Complex

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Whether you’re an expat moving nearshore, a Puerto Rican from the diaspora who decided to come back, or a local parent trying to make everything work, Puerto Rico’s healthcare system can be complex and overwhelming. Aside from the physician shortage, insurance can make you jump through hoops for approval and referrals, you’ll have to wait around six months for the next appointment available, and so on. 

This is where a concierge model comes in to save the day. When you acquire a Pravan Kids membership, you get an ally for your child’s health. Our team eliminates the mental load of looking for a space for an appointment; our state-of-the-art office gives you peace of mind; our telemedicine services can save you from using your PTO, and our team will coordinate referrals to pediatric specialists.


3. Communication is Hard

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Medical speak is the worst. When you’re an overwhelmed parent (especially a first-time parent), a doctor’s lingo can be your worst nightmare, especially if it's not in your native tongue. Our Head Pediatrician, Dr. Rosana Mejía, is a great communicator and listener. She has a talent for explaining things in ways that reassure parents. She takes the time to answer each and every one of the questions parents come prepared with, whether in a well-child visit or a visit for a medical reason. 

Finally, our staff is fully bilingual. English-speaking parents can communicate effectively, and every child receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs.


4. Around-the-Clock Care: Not Found

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When it comes to kids, things can happen in a blink of an eye. They might be peacefully playing at one moment, and in the next, you’re running to the emergency room after a fall or because there’s a sudden fever. All parents want to avoid the emergency room, especially in Puerto Rico. Aside from the risk of catching a bug in the hospital, the long waits can be a challenge, especially with small children.

Pravan Kids offers pediatric Urgent Care 24/7. If you want an assessment before even getting into the car, our membership also offers telemedicine to ensure your kids get care when they deserve when they need it.

Not sure about the difference between an urgency and an emergency? Read here.


5. Impersonal Relationships

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Any parent knows that the pediatrician is one of the most important doctors in their lives. Is a doctor-patient relationship that goes beyond knowledge; it needs trust to flourish since it will last until the child is 21 years old. The state of pediatrics on the island makes this harder than it should be. 

At Pravan Kids, pediatricians and other medical staff take the time to get to know each child and their family, allowing them to develop a deep understanding of the patient's medical history, lifestyle, and individual needs. This in-depth knowledge helps them create personalized care plans that address immediate health concerns and long-term wellness goals.

Pravan Kids is the perfect solution for families who want to ensure their child receives the best care possible. Conveniently located in Ciudadela, Santurce, we offer a wide range of pediatric services, including access to urgent care 24/7, even on the weekends. 


Book your orientation call


Pravan Kids, Puerto Rico's first membership-based pediatric clinic, offers parents unparalleled accessibility and personalized care. We've crafted a holistic care package from annual exams to on-demand mobile consultations. Click above to explore our services and experience a new standard in child healthcare.





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