HomeDanish PoliticsDanish Health Commission Presents Major Healthcare Reform Recommendations

Danish Health Commission Presents Major Healthcare Reform Recommendations

A long-awaited commission has just presented its recommendations that could result in the largest healthcare reform in the last two decades. The Health Structure Commission has presented three possible models for the future healthcare system, two of which involve the abolishment of the current regions. The commission, led by Jesper Fisker, director of the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse), has presented their report after a year of work at Holbæk Hospital. According to Fisker, all three models involve changes to the current structure of the regions. The first two models propose the abolition of the regions, which would be replaced by either 8-10 health and care regions or a centralized governance. The third model retains the regions, but with significant changes, such as municipalities taking on more tasks within the healthcare sector.

Fisker believes that the recommendations can significantly strengthen the Danish healthcare system. “If significant parts of what we recommend here are followed, we will have a significantly better healthcare system in the future,” he states. However, there has been internal disagreement within the SVM government regarding the fate of the regions. The Moderates wish to abolish them, while the Social Democrats and the Left want to keep them. The commission’s recommendations will now be subject to an eight-week consultation period and will form the basis for a major healthcare proposal from the government in the autumn. In addition to structural changes, the commission also recommends more general practitioners and clinics, as well as a more accessible healthcare service.

Furthermore, a national health plan is proposed for strategic resource allocation and organizational integration of psychiatry into the overall hospital system. Health Minister Sophie Løhde (V) received the recommendations and will comment once she has thoroughly reviewed them. “The most important thing for us in the government, when discussing the future healthcare system, is the patients, the reason for it all,” she says. The reform is expected to be on par with the structural reform of 2006, where 271 municipalities were reduced to 98 and 14 counties were merged into five regions. The Health Structure Commission consisted of nine members with expertise in the healthcare sector.

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