Covid-19 cost Denmark’s health service four times more in 2021 than in 2020

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Covid-19 cost Denmark’s health service four times more in 2021 than in 2020
Covid-19 was a significantly higher drain on public funds in 2021 than in 2020. File photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix

New data from official agency Statistics Denmark has highlighted the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic to the country’s health services in 2021.


Coronavirus cost the health system 20.1 billion kroner last year according to Statistics Denmark, which has calculated overall costs for the health service related to Covid-19 in 2021.

The figure is almost four times higher than in 2020, the year the pandemic broke out, when it was estimated to have cost the health service 5.1 billion kroner.

Extra costs related to testing, contact tracing and vaccination in 2021 are the primary reasons for the dramatically increased spending compared to the previous year.


Testing and contact tracing cost 12.5 billion kroner last year, compared to 1.7 billion kroner in 2020.

Vaccination against the coronavirus – which did not commence until December 2020 – ran up a cost of 4.4 billion kroner in 2021.

Treatment of Covid-19 patients was a lower expense for health services, setting them back 0.9 billion kroner.

Overall spending by the Danish health service was up by 270.8 billion kroner in 2021. That represents a 25 percent increase, most of which can be attributed to additional costs related to the Covid pandemic.

Out-patient health centres, such as Covid-19 testing centres, were an area in which some of the steepest increases in spending occurred.

Dentistry services were also a higher cost to the Danish health service in 2021 than in 2020, although this is attributable to a reduction of activity in the sector during lockdowns in 2020.

Hospitals spent 116.8 billion kroner, 3.1 billion or 2.8 percent more than in the previous year.

The average annual increase in spending on hospitals in Denmark’s health service in recent years is 2.7 percent.

The Danish public health service cost the equivalent of 10.8 percent of the national GDP in 2021.



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