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The Health Structure Commission: These are the three scenarios that can save the healthcare system.

DR-Inland in Denmark

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 • 12:04 PM UTC - in Denmark


Senior Pressure


Just as solutions were being sought for the growing pressure on the healthcare sector, Interior and Health Minister Sophie Løhde gathered a group of experts and established the Health Structure Commission in March 2023.

Their mission was to propose solutions ensuring better coordination and more equality in healthcare. Although the commission's report focuses on healthcare, the main emphasis is on the part of healthcare that lies outside hospital walls.

- There is a need to strengthen the primary healthcare sector outside hospitals, for patients to experience greater continuity in their care pathways across sectors, and for resources to be distributed more evenly, so that citizens throughout the country have equal access to healthcare offerings, says Jesper Fisker.


Four Challenges Pressuring Healthcare


* By 2035, there will be 70 percent more people over 80 years old, many of whom will have multiple diseases. This will put pressure on hospitals and municipalities.

* It is projected that there will be a shortage of 14,500 care workers within 10 years. This professional group is particularly important for caring for and treating the many elderly.

* Patients often fall between the cracks between regions, municipalities, and the practicing doctor. There is currently no one responsible for a patient's journey in the healthcare sector. This problem must be solved.

* The physician shortage in Denmark is most pronounced in areas with the most sick citizens. The geographic inequality in healthcare must be addressed.


Six Central Recommendations


Regardless of the model chosen by Parliament, the commission's experts emphasize that politicians will be forced to find solutions to the enormous challenges facing healthcare.

Therefore, the commission has also put forward what they call six cross-cutting recommendations for the new organization of healthcare. The most central recommendation is to ensure that some of the tasks currently solved on hospitals will be shifted to practicing doctors and the care personnel who are close to the citizens.

Additionally, experts recommend creating a national healthcare plan to ensure a cohesive and geographically equal healthcare system.

The report has now been handed over to Health Minister Sophie Løhde from the Left, and it is now up to the government and Parliament to decide which of the commission's recommendations they will work on.


Facts about the Health Structure Commission


* The Health Structure Commission was established by the government in March 2023.

* The commission is tasked with proposing models for the future organization of healthcare - it must therefore look at how the future healthcare system should be structured.

* The background for its establishment was the increasing number of elderly and chronically ill, as well as recruitment problems almost everywhere in the healthcare sector.

* A large number of experts, particularly within the healthcare sector, have sat on the commission as members.

*Source: Interior and Health Ministry.

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