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National markets insights: Denmark


Healthcare system and market



The quality of Denmark’s health system is extremely high; on the same level as the medical care you find in many other Western European countries. Hospitals in Denmark have excellent facilities, and most doctors and dentists speak English. The Danish health service is financed through income tax, so state medical treatment in Denmark is available to all Danish residents and EU citizens free of charge. Free emergency treatment is available to visitors from all other countries.

The Danish health system is divided into two sectors:

  • Primary health care: Primary health care deals with general health problems and is usually the first point of contact if you require general medical treatment. Services in this sector are available to everyone, and include treatments from general practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, etc. 
  • Hospital sector: Hospitals are responsible for patients who require more specialised medical treatment, for example intensive care or the need for specialist equipment.

Overview of Danish Health Care

The ‘cornerstones’ of the Danish healthcare system:

  • it is a public healthcare system predominantly financed through general taxes
  • healthcare is organised in such a way that responsibility for services provided lies within the lowest possible administrative level, usually the county councils (subsidiarity)
  • there should be universal, free and equal access for all 5.4 Million citizens
  • it should promote efficiency, be of high quality, and enable free choice of provider by users
  • Since 1970, most decisions regarding the form and content of health care activity have been made at county and municipal level.

The Ministry of Health has a coordinating and supervisory role, but no operational responsibilities for health services. Working in close cooperation with the government and municipalities, the five regions are responsible for hospitals and primary care. Regions have wide powers to organise the health services for their citizens, according to regional wishes and possibilities and can adjust services and staff, etc., according to needs at the different levels. County council elections held every four years usually focus on local issues.

There are important channels for co-ordination and negotiation between the state and the regions and municipalities and between the regions and the municipalities. In recent years, the political focus on controlling health care costs has encouraged a greater degree of formal co-operation.


Denmark's future mega hospitals

Through public-private partnerships, Danish companies have gained great knowledge about innovative hospital construction. This video illustrates how state of the art design and equipment ensure a patient-centered focus.

Video HERE 




WHO Denmark Healthcare review

Healthcare in Denmark - Danish Government

eHealth in Denmark - case study

Danish eHealth national portal



Group Feed
Anette Stjerne joined the group National markets insights: Denmark.
Posted 29 October 2018
Mate Bestek joined the group National markets insights: Denmark.
Posted 04 September 2017
Innovation Sprint Sprl joined the group National markets insights: Denmark.
Posted 26 May 2017
Utre joined the group National markets insights: Denmark.
Posted 20 July 2016
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