cover image: Denmark: health system review


Denmark: health system review

27 Feb 2024

This analysis of the Danish health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. Population health in Denmark isgood and improving, with life expectancy above the European Union average but is, however, lagging behind the other Nordic countries. Denmark has a universal and tax-financed health system, providing coverage for acomprehensive package of health services. Notable exclusions to the benefits package include outpatient prescription drugs and adult dental care, which require co-payment and are the main causes of out-of-pocket spending. The hospital sector has been transformed during the past 15 years through a process of consolidating hospitals and the centralization of medical specialties. However, in recent years, there has been a move towards decentralization to increase the volume and quality of care provided outside hospitals in primary and local care settings. The Danish health care system is, to a very high degree, based on digital solutions that health care providers, citizens and institutions all use. Ensuring the availability of health care in all parts of Denmark is increasingly seen as a priority issue.Ensuring sufficient health workers, especially nurses, poses a significant challenge to the Danish health system’s sustainability and resilience. While a comprehensive package of policies has been put in place to increase thenumber of nurses being trained and retain those already working in the system, such measures need time to work. Addressing staffing shortages requires long-term action. Profound changes in working practices and workingenvironments will be required to ensure the sustainability of the health workforce and, by extension, the health system into the future.
copenhagen denmark health systems plans health care reform evaluation study health care quality, access, and evaluation


European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Birk, Hans Okkels, Vrangbæk, Karsten, Rudkjøbing, Andreas, Krasnik, Allan, Eriksen, Astrid, Richardson, Erica, Smith Jervelund, Signe

9789289059558 (‎PDF)‎ 9789289059565 (‎print)‎
1817-6119 (‎Print)‎ 1817-6127 (‎Web)‎
Published in
Rights Holder
World Health Organization

Related Topics