Priority setting in medicine helps to achieve a fair and transparent distribution of health-care resources. The German discussion about priority setting is still in its infancy and may benefit from other countries experiences. This paper aims to analyse the Danish priority setting debate in order to stimulate the German discussion. The methods used are a literature analysis and a document analysis as well as expert interviews. The Danish debate about priority setting in medicine began in the 1970s, when a government committee was constituted to evaluate health-care priorities at the national level. In the 1980s a broader debate arose in politics, ethics, medicine and health economy. The discussions reached a climax in the 1990s, when many local activities always involving the public were initiated. Some Danish counties tried to implement priority setting in the daily routine of health care. The Council of Ethics was a major player in the debate of the 1990s and published a detailed statement on priority setting in 1996. With the new century the debate about priority setting seemed to have come to an end, but in 2006 the Technology Council and the Danish Regions resumed the discussion. In 2009 the Medical Association called for a broad debate in order to achieve equity among all patients. The long lasting Danish debate on priority setting has entailed only very little practical consequences on health care. The main problems seem to have been the missing effort to bundle the various local initiatives on a national level and the lack of powerful players to put results of the discussion into practice. Nevertheless, today the attitude towards priority setting is predominantly positive and even politicians talk freely about it.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Danish debate on priority setting in medicine characteristics and results|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|