Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Perspectives in the primary health services in Denmark. Experience in outlining the service

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Despite increased health politics and scientific interest for the primary health services, the limitation and content of this expression still remains, by and large, rather obscure. A cross-sectional mapping of the primary health services in Denmark has, therefore, been carried out in the National Board of Health. Existing knowledge and information were collected, structured and described, for the first time. This article provides a review of the more important elements and main conclusions of the report. An organisation model is employed in the elucidations process. This shows the primary health service as a product of a series of factors which influence the development and consequences of the primary health service for the conditions of health of the population to various extents. The model has formed the basis for structuring the available information concerning the primary health service into the following main elements: Directing and planning at central, regional and local levels, respectively, the formal construction of the primary health service on the basis of legislation and agreements, existing tools for assessment, the distribution of health staff and their educational qualifications, activities in the form of consumer and service patterns and, finally, the official aims and expectations of the primary health service as these are expressed by administrative, political and medical points of view. It appears that the primary health service is not directed and planned, on the whole, on the basis of current and systematically collected knowledge. Only sparse information is available concerning health problems in the community and their relationships in technology, family and network resources, physical environment and occupational structure and, similarly, the effects of the health service are unknown. It must therefore be presumed that the existing structure on the basis of present legislation and agreements is more decisive for the activities in the primary health service than the actual health problems in the community. In conclusion, the need for establishment of a relevant background of information is emphasized. This would render possible a connected and up-to-date assessment of the efforts in the primary health service. Current collection of cross-sectional data concerning health problems and health work is essential if the present day 'penny-pinching' policy can be replaced by coordinated planning and direction on the basis of a genuine and active debate about objectives which involve all of the instances involved.

TidsskriftUgeskrift for Laeger
Udgave nummer39
Sider (fra-til)2882-2887
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 1982

ID: 202293890