How the Danish healthcare system works

The Danish healthcare system operates across a national, regional and local level

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The Danish healthcare system operates across three political and administrative levels: the state, the regions and the municipalities (national, regional and local levels). 

The state holds the overall regulatory and supervisory functions in health and elderly care. 

The five regions are responsible for hospital care, including emergency care, psychiatry, and for healthcare services provided by general practitioners (GPs) and specialists in private practice. 

The 98 municipalities are responsible for a number of primary health and social services, for instance elderly care services, rehabilitation outside hospital, home nursing, child dental treatment, child nursing, and physiotherapy. In addition, municipalities co-finance regional rehabilitation services and training facilities.

The basic principle of the Danish welfare system is that all citizens have equal rights to social security. The majority of healthcare services are financed by general taxes and mainly provided free of charge. 

Find contact information for healthcare professionals, public and private hospitals, and pharmacies on the website sundhed.dk. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority is the liaison body for healthcare and provides general guidance about the Danish healthcare system and access to healthcare in Denmark.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority is an authority under the Ministry of Health.

In every region in Denmark you will find a patient office. The regional patient advisers have knowledge of the healthcare services and can advise you on your options for the treatment, you request. 

Both the Danish Patient Safety Authority and regional patient offices are also National Contact Points for cross-border healthcare in Denmark. 

Last updated: 17 December 2020

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