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Primary Care in Denmark

image of Primary Care in Denmark

In many ways, primary care in Denmark performs well. Danish primary care is trusted and valued by patients, and is relatively inexpensive. But there are important areas where it needs to be strengthened. Most critically, Danish primary care is relatively opaque in terms of the performance data available at local level. Greater transparency is vital in the next phase of reform and sector strengthening. Robust information on quality and outcomes empowers patients and gives them choice. It can support GPs to benchmark themselves, and engage in continuous quality improvement. It also allows the authorities to better understand where they should direct additional resources. This report draws on evidence and best practice from across OECD health systems to support Denmark in: agreeing on the steps that will strengthen its primary care sector, delivering high-quality, patient-centred care, and establishing a sustainable footing as the foundation for a high-performing health system.

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Assessment and recommendations

Denmark’s 3 500 general practitioners (GPs), nearly all independent contractors, have a long tradition of providing effective first-line health care, often over many years, to their local communities. Patient surveys show that Danes rate their GP care highly (with 91% giving a positive assessment compared to a European Union average of 84% in a recent survey; OECD, 2013). The effectiveness of primary care is demonstrated by the relatively infrequent need for hospitalisation for some (but not all) chronic conditions.

English

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