Most Danes happy with healthcare: survey

The majority of people in Denmark are happy with the current system for public healthcare, although the government is currently considering a major restructuring.

Most Danes happy with healthcare: survey
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In a recent survey, the majority of respondents said they were satisfied with the care they received when they last used the system as patients, and that they have confidence in the system in general.

The poll, conducted by Voxmeter, asked a representative sample of 1,009 people in Denmark for their views on the healthcare system. The survey took place during the early weeks of January.

A plan for health system reforms is expected to be presented by the government later this month. One aim of the reform will be to reduce the number of hospital visits and hospitalisations.

Reports have also suggested that the reform could mean the end of the current regional system, whereby elected officials in five areas across the country are responsible for administration of healthcare locally.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said in his New Year's speech that healthcare reforms would be a priority for the government in early 2019, but did not name the regions specifically.

“I will present my ideas for justifiable improvements based on 21 new localised health communities, built on the skills of healthcare workers and where we put the needs of the patient before the system,” Rasmussen said.

Patient interest umbrella organisation Danske Patienter said that reform was necessary despite what appears to be a majority of satisfied users of the system.

“It does not surprise us that the results are like this. Many patients and people think we have qualified staff who do what they can for patients,” the organisation’s director Morten Freil said.

“There is nevertheless a desire for reform, and we think this is due to many people finding that staff are under pressure,” Freil added.

Just under six out of ten people responded that they had confidence in the health system, the Voxmeter survey found.

Just under three out of four people either agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied after the most recent occasion they used the system.

The challenges faced by Denmark’s public health system are more complex than those related to the regional structure, according to Danske Patienter.

“We think it’s regrettable that the regions are such a big part of this discussion. We think better treatment can be provided within the existing framework,” Freil said.

“We are a little concerned that, by putting the health system through structural changes related to political leadership, we will lose sight of the actual problems,” he added.

Reforms should aim for better cooperation and joint leadership and financing of patient care between hospitals, municipalities and GPs, the director said.

READ ALSO: Denmark's 'regions' could be disbanded in major public health reform


New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries.