In Denmark the vast majority of the health sector is financed through the taxes. However this leads to several problems.
Firstly it puts a focus on the the short-term budgets rather than seeing the health care sector as a long-term investment. A number of factors in the future will put an additional pressure on
the Danish and European health care systems these include:
- The development of new services and products in the health care sector.
- The increasing awareness of treatments among the public, treatments that the public cannot make use of, or don’t get access to until years later.
- An increased mobility amongst the labor force – when the tax financed health care sector doesn’t function satisfactory then the most productive and innovative people will have yet
another incentive to vote with their feet and leave the country.
- The changes in the demographics of Danish and European society, which means that we will have more elderly people that will need more treatments, and hence put increasing pressure on the
- The combination of higher average living age and a politically defined retirement age.
- Increasing understanding of individual responsibility for ones own health and hence a reduced accept of putting costs on others.
- All of these factors result in an increasing demand for health care services and a following reduction in the level of tax financing.
On top of this comes that during the past 50 years we have seen a change in public opinion as to what is the responsibility of the individual, and what is the role of the government when it
comes to illnesses that are lifestyle related. The change in public opinion has disenfranchised the individual and given more power to the government. The government controlled health care system
has led politicians to control what we eat and drink - often with the politicians arguing that we all pay jointly for the health care sector through the taxes, so people shouldn't be allowed to act
Most of the developments or factors are positive. The creation of new health care services or products is good.
But all put pressure on the system as it is presently set up. And it is therefore necessary to look for ways to reform the system.
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