Health care in Denmark

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Health care in Denmark is largely financed through local (county and municipal) taxation with integrated funding and provision of health care at the local (county) level.

Denmark spends 9.8% of GDP on healthcare. The life expectancy in Denmark is 78.6 years. There is 1 doctor for every 294 persons in Denmark.1

Primary care

Most primary care in Denmark is provided by general practitioners, who are paid on a combined capitation and fee-for-service basis in a similar way to those in the United Kingdom. The counties determine the number and location of general practitioners, and their fees and working conditions are negotiated centrally between the physicians' union and the government. The municipal health services provide health visitors, home nurses and school health care.

Secondary care

Hospital care is mainly provided by hospitals owned and run by the counties (or the Copenhagen Hospital Corporation in the Copenhagen area). This is similar to the model in other Scandinavian countries.

There are few private hospital providers, and they account for less than 1% of hospital beds.

Central government role

The central government plays a relatively limited role in health care in Denmark. Its main functions are to regulate, coordinate and provide advice and its main responsibilities are to establish goals for national health policy, determining national health legislation, formulating regulation, promoting cooperation between different health care actors, providing guidelines for the health sector, providing health and health care-related information, promoting quality and tackling patient complaints.


Denmark is one of the world's leading countries in the use of health care technology. Virtually all primary care physicians have electronic medical records with full clinical functionality .2 Practitioners use Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Prescribing to exchange clinical messages (EDI) using the MedCom network.3 Despite the high adoption levels, the reality is that Denmark for several years has suffered from eHealth system fragmentation which has led to eHealth's inability to reach full potential in delivering quality healthcare service.4



  1. ^ "Social responsibility in a technocracy". FloatHaven/TEL. 2011. 
  2. ^ D. Protti and I. Johansen. Widespread Adoption of Information Technology in Primary Care Physician Offices in Denmark: A Case Study.' (The Commonwealth Fund, March 2010.)
  3. ^ "MedCom". 2013. 
  4. ^ Kierkegaard, P. (2013) eHealth in Denmark: A Case Study. Journal of Medical Systems, 37 (6)

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