HomeDanish PoliticsDanish Mayors Criticize Health Commission's Proposal to Centralize Welfare

Danish Mayors Criticize Health Commission’s Proposal to Centralize Welfare

Denmark’s 98 mayors are sharply criticizing the Health Structure Commission’s proposal to move welfare tasks away from municipalities. The criticism is gathered in a consultation response through the Danish Local Government Association and is directed towards the models where health and elderly care should be centrally managed or through new health and care regions.

The mayors, including Stephanie Storbank (V) from Billund Municipality, do praise the commission’s proposal to, for example, improve access to doctors in rural areas. Nevertheless, they do not see the rationale in moving the elderly care sector away from municipalities. Storbank argues that municipalities, being closest to the citizens, are best equipped to solve these tasks through early interventions and prevention.

Health Minister Sophie Løhde (V) has also expressed skepticism regarding the proposals to remove major welfare areas from municipalities. According to Løhde, it is difficult to imagine that municipalities should not be responsible for nursing homes, meal services at home, and personal care.

The mayors emphasize that instead of establishing new regions, efforts should be made to ensure that existing regions are sustainable and robust, which would enhance treatment options nationwide. Furthermore, capacity in primary healthcare should be expanded, such as by ensuring more general practitioners, including doctors in all nursing homes.

Stephanie Storbank, however, points out that changes are needed in the healthcare system, but she believes the focus should be on the content rather than the structure. The recommendations of the Health Structure Commission are intended to form the basis for a broader healthcare initiative from the government later this year.

Read the danish version here

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