Digital healthcare is not easy for everyone
Sundhed.dk and Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark have conducted a survey on how citizens with an ethnic minority background navigate through the healthcare system and locate their personal healthcare information.
In collaboration with sundhed.dk, the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark are happy to bring attention to some of the challenges related to the increased digitalisation of the healthcare system via this survey. The survey offers insights into some of the challenges that are important to take into consideration when we develop digital healthcare solutions.
Many need help to navigate the digital sphere. Especially older people and people with reduced functional capacities. According to the Agency for Digital Government, this applies to around 17-22% of the Danish public.
Amongst people with an ethnic minority background, many experience challenges being a digital citizen. They do not necessarily have the same prerequisites as ethnic Danes. Often, they lack knowledge of the public system, and can be limited or held back by language barriers and cultural differences.
Sundhed.dk, in collaboration with the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark, have looked into how citizens with an ethnic minority background navigate through the healthcare system, find their healthcare information digitally and use the healthcare solutions available on sundhed.dk. Amongst other things, the survey shows that it can be difficult for them to know whom to contact and where to look for information. Furthermore, many originate from countries where the healthcare system is intricately different and plays another role.
“We need to ensure that there is equal access for all. This applies to ethnic minorities, but also others who might have difficulties in using sundhed.dk due to reduced functional capabilities or because they struggle with the digital aspect of it. For this reason, we will use the results presented in the survey towards making digital healthcare information more easily accessible to all citizens,”says Lars Gaardhøj, Chairman for the Committee of sundhed.dk
The majority of the recommendations suggested by the survey are not only meant to benefit citizens with an ethnic minority background. Instead, a main point of the survey is that implementing these recommendations will also help the 20 % of Danes whom the Agency for Digital Government identifies as citizens struggling with digitalised healthcare.
The pilot study was carried out between December 2021 and April 2022. It was conducted via interviews with eleven citizens of ethnic minority backgrounds from nine different countries, five healthcare professionals and twelve experts.