German and French press report on successful priorities in the Danish healthcare transformation

Recently, German and French press delegations have visited The Regional Hospital Unit West and the new hospital construction in Gødstrup in the Central Denmark Region to report on successful priorities in the transformation of the Danish healthcare system.

In Denmark, there are less hospitals compared to the number of inhabitants than in Germany, because Denmark has chosen a different strategy within the field of healthcare. In Denmark, it has been decided to close small hospitals in favor of bigger and modern so-called “super hospitals”. The small hospitals have been replaced by “health centers” which are not open around the clock. Besides, the health centers are only staffed with nursing staff who takes care of minor injuries and preventive efforts in relation to e.g. chronic patients.

The Danish strategy of constructing super hospitals and establishing health centers have been successful in several ways. First, the average life expectancy in Denmark has increased despite the reduction in hospitals. Second, the number of deaths due to heart disease has decreased by 25% and the waiting time for surgical procedures has decreased by 20%. Third, the number of outpatient treatments has increased by 50% and the average length of stay in hospital has decreased as well. Finally, the sickness absence for doctors and nursing staff has decreased, which may be due to greater motivation and better work organization.

These documented results have led to an increasing German and French interest in the new hospital construction project in Gødstrup, and more press delegations from other European cities are also on their way to visit the construction project.