WONCA Europe



National delegate (Europe Council member)

Gudrun Sigurdardottir gudrunagusta@gmail.com

National Exchange Coordinator Marieke Leemreize  hippokrates.denmark@gmail.com
Young GPs organization website  
Page last updated on February, 2018



Denmark is just a small country of 5.5 million inhabitants. Doctors make a total of about 18.000 with 6.000 in training in the 30+ different specialities ‑ and 3.500 GPs. Doctor‑population ratio is 1:300 and GP‑population ratio 1:1550.

Healthcare system
General practice is a strong tradition for more than a century, and the GP is the central figure in the health care system, representing the point of first encounter for >95% of people suffering health problems. A total of 88% of the population have contact with their GP during a year. The current system was launched in 1973; Danish GPs are independent professionals working on a contractual base with the government (Region). Health care is public tax-financed. The population register on a list with a specific GP, who they have to consult and gets free primary medical care without private cost of service besides part of cost of medicine (0-75%). 98% of the population are registered and the remaining 2% are "private" patients paying a part of fees for service and getting the right to visit any GP and specialist service. Registered patients must have a referral to visit a specialist which is also free. All citizens must have a referral to receive hospital care (except for emergency). Hospital service is without personal cost. Patients register with their GP for many years, less than 5% making a change per year.
Tasks in general practice
Danish GPs deliver 35 million contacts during daytime to the population per year. 40% as telephone contacts, 55% as face‑to‑face consultations and 1% as home visits. 3% of contacts are made as e-mail consultations. In average in 1 out of 10 face-to-face contacts the patient is referred. In a year 45% of a practice population is seen by other health care workers (hospital, specialists, physiotherapists, psychologist etc.). 2% of patients seen are referred to hospitals, 2% to community specialist care, and 2‑3% to auxiliary services (physiotherapist etc.).
GPs take care of people from (before) birth (pregnancy care) to (after) death (bereavement care). Daily work in the practice includes prevention of any kind, sorting minor complaints from major, sorting the sick from the well, diagnosing, referring, curing and caring the sick, palliative care for the incurable, follow‑up, caring for children, youngsters, adults, and old people, men & women. General practice in Denmark is aware of a context including somatic, psychological, social and humanistic dimensions, a holistic or comprehensive approach and model for patient‑doctor relationships.
Organizations of GPs
Medical education
Medical school 6 years, mandatory general practice in 5th & 6th year, consisting of a clinical period of 1 month (including 8-10 days in GP - the rest is lectures) and included in final exams. Internship (or basic clinical training) for all candidates no matter future speciality: 1 year consisting of ½ year in an "acute" hospital speciality (typically int. medicine or surgery) and ½ year in a "long-term speciality" (for 80 % of trainees it is GP, for 10 % it is psychiatry and for 10 % it is oncology).
Specific general practice training includes the internship and runs for 5 years more, in total a training period of 6 years. The 5 year GP training schedule consists of 2½ year in GP and 2½ year in different hospital posts (5 posts lasting each ½ year) + a theoretical course of 200 hours.