Novo Nordisk Foundation, the majority shareholder in Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, is prepared to invest billions of kroner to help centralise diabetes treatment in Denmark.
The Foundation plans to finance the construction of highly specialised centres in each region that would carry out treatment, prevention, clinical research and education within diabetes.
More than 320,000 diabetics will be affected by the plan if it is accepted by all five regions in the country.
One down, four more to go
Capital Region has already approved the idea and will receive 2.8 billion kroner for a diabetes centre at Herlev Hospital as well as funds for treatment, research and education until 2029, while the region will cover the operational costs.
Central Denmark Region has approved a framework for a similar partnership, with a new diabetes centre to be built in Aarhus.
Politicians in South Denmark Region will debate the Foundation’s vision in August and North Denmark Region is expecting to receive plans for a centre in Aalborg by the end of this year.
Region Zealand has only just began a dialogue with the Foundation.
Dazzled by money
Meanwhile, specialised doctors and a health economist warn that centralisation would worsen patient care.
“The billions that Novo Nordisk Foundation is offering have largely removed the discussion about the pros and cons,” Ulrich Fred Berg, a professor and chief doctor at Regional Hospital Silkeborg, told Jyllands-Posten.
Health economist Kjeld Møller Pedersen argues that the generous donations can distort Danish health system by prioritising one group of patients over another.
Jannik Hilsted, the head of Steno Grants at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, contends that the new centralised system will ensure better treatment of diabetes patients and the investments will also benefit the regional hospitals.