Whichever part of the world you’re residing in, healthcare is an essential concern. The state of Denmark realizes the importance of healthcare, and hence, provides free public healthcare for all its citizens and residents. The central government supervises the healthcare system. However, the responsibility of the provision of services falls upon the local governments of the five regions.
What Does It Cover?
The question then becomes, what does public healthcare in Denmark cover? It includes the following:
- Access to a general practitioner for the provision of primary medical care, which includes advice, examinations and routine treatment.
- Citizens gain access to special care if referred by a general practitioner.
- Citizens are also granted emergency care and medical assistance after hours.
- Public healthcare also covers treatment at hospitals, including aftercare, admission, and surgery.
- Citizens are provided with home nursing and visits from a health visitor.
At the same time, it is also important to take into account the few services which are not covered by the Danish healthcare system. These consist of, but are not limited to:
- Medication (subsidized)
- Dental care (unless you are below 18)
However, considering everything else the healthcare system has to offer, there is no doubt that you will be cared for and looked out for.
How Does It Work?
The healthcare system works in the following manner: once you have registered in the country and obtained your CPR number, you will immediately be granted access to free healthcare. After this, you can choose a general practitioner.
In order to see specialists, it will be necessary for you to have a referral from your GP. General practitioners are usually available on weekdays from 8:00 to 16:00, and from 8:00 to 9:00 for emergency phone calls. You might also be able to book online appointments with your GP if they provide you with a specific access code. Your GP (or other specialist doctors) will give you prescriptions that you can use to pick up medication from the pharmacy.
The hospital you go to is your choice, but you should ensure that it has the speciality you are looking for. In case you are unsure, you can check online or consult with your family doctor.
If you do not speak Danish, that is not a cause for concern as the doctor may choose to have an interpreter present. Hence, you can feel reassured that you will receive all the necessary information and give informed consent for any treatment. You also have the option of requesting an interpreter yourself, in case you think you need one. Although, please keep in mind that you might need to pay for the interpreter.
The Yellow Card
To access free healthcare in Denmark, you need the Sundhedskort: The Yellow Card. This card has the following information: Your name, address, CPR number, and the name and address of your doctor.
You should receive your yellow card immediately after registering for a CPR number. Every time you go see a doctor, specialist, psychologist, or visit a hospital or a pharmacy, you should take this card with you. It can also be used as an ID card in post offices, libraries, etc. Thus, it is generally recommended for you to have it on you all the time.
All factors considered, we must note that the healthcare system of Denmark is not perfect. For instance, access to medical care can depend on where one is in the country, resulting in an imbalance of the care provided everywhere. There are also some specialities for which medical care is not provided, such as mental health needs and dental work.
However, the fact that healthcare is free for all residents is a huge bonus and shows how much the government is looking out for its people. Citizens also have the freedom to be treated in any hospital in the country, so you won’t have to worry while travelling in Denmark. It is an easy and efficient system to be a part of and ensures that all of your healthcare needs are met promptly. Denmark deserves a lot of credit for making sure that healthcare is treated as a priority, and that its people are looked out for the way they deserve to be.
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