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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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The performance of Danish primary care

While Danish GPs have fulfilled the primary care function very well over many years, the challenges outline above demand a different, stronger and modernised primary care sector. This has not yet convincingly emerged. Health system reforms in recent years have focused on efforts to improve quality and efficiency in the hospital sector – relegating modernisation of the primary care sector to a more cautious and incremental path.

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