Primary care activities include school and youth health services (school physician services), of which legal background is determined in decree 26/1997. (IX. 3.) NM about school physician services. Preventive school physician services for children aged 3-18 attending kindergarten, elementary or high school institutions, or adults above the age of 18 in secondary education (studying in the daytime system) are provided upon the criteria described and determined in the decree.
The essence of school physician services is to provide healthcare services for students at educational facilities. School physician services are ensured by the cooperation of school physicians with health visitors, involving the services of GPs and dentists, too. School health visitor services are not the same as school physician services – which are also provided at schools, in a counseling system, at predetermined appointments.
Children aged 3-18, and adults above the age of 18 in secondary education, studying in the daytime system are entitled to school physician services.
School physicians and their activities
GPs, internists or pediatricians who (preferably) are also specialized in school- and youth physician services can perform school physician duties (full-time or part time, depending on the number of students at school).
At the school physician offices, doctors’ duties include taking care of the students’ healthy mental and physical development, therefore personal visits are an essential part of their activities. On these personal visits, the physician and/or the health visitor provides personalized care for the students. The school physician provides a medical report to the students’ legal guardians of the school physician visits.
The duties of the school physician system are determined in the abovementioned decree, according to which they provide:
- assessment and monitoring of children’s health status,
- prevention and early recognition of diseases,
- health promotion,
- complete physical screening examination of children,
- performing competency screening exams,
- career-orientation counseling based on the children’s physical characteristics and health status,
- school physician duties related to physiotherapeutic treatment and sports,
- screening of children who are at greater risk of developing certain medical conditions, and their referral to specialists for further health care examinations, based on past medical history,
- regular screening exams of students living with chronic diseases, physical or mental illnesses, or who are disabled, in close cooperation with GPs, and personalized treatment with outpatient departments and nursery care facilities,
- public health and epidemiological service-related duties,
- campaign vaccines (age-specific mandatory and recommended vaccines),
- controlling the school catering system,
- providing first aid in case of school accidents, injuries, acute diseases, and if necessary, referring the students to health care facilities.
School dentist service
School dentist services provide preventive care and treatment for students. According to the 26/1997. (IX. 3.) NM decree, school dentist offices must be appointed in every educational facility, where dentists (child dentists) ensure the care.
The duties of school dentist services:
- providing dental care for children (preventive care and treatment) – both screenings of classes and individual exams,
- planning and scheduling treatments for groups and classes,
- performing dental checkups for classes twice annually and scheduling follow-up exams for those who are in need of them,
- if necessary, referring students to dental professionals (e.g. for orthodontic treatment),
- performing dental screenings at kindergartens, at least once annually. Scheduling further treatment appointments for those who are in need of them,
- visiting educational facilities belonging to their dental care provision district, and regularly contacting the facility officers at least once a year,
- providing special consideration for the disabled children and for those who are at greater risk for dental diseases for another reason and cooperating with the GP and the school physician in their treatment,
- providing health consciousness-raising and educational activities, participating in teaching activities, and health promotion,
- organizing and scheduling the complex dental prevention program.