Patients not receiving diagnoses on time

The law guarantees patients answers inside of a month, but many wait longer

Only 65 percent of patients in the Danish health system are receiving a diagnosis of their medical conditions within the timeframe required by law. 

Recent investigations by regional health authority Danske Regioner show that the system is falling short.

“There is no doubt that this is not good enough,” Danske Regioner head Bent Hansen told DR Nyheder. “We should be between 95 and 100 percent.”

Some choose to wait
Patients referred by their GP to a hospital with a suspected serious illness are guaranteed a timely diagnosis or continuing treatment by laws put into place at the beginning of the year.

Registration problems and other red tape have contributed to the problem.

“In some contexts, we have underestimated how much is required,” said Hansen. 

Hansen said that some patients are choosing to wait a little longer for a diagnosis so they can be treated at their local hospital. 

READ MORE: One month diagnosis guarantee will pay off, study suggests

Specialists missing
He said that many hospitals are overloaded, and maladies like urinary problems, nervous system disorders and certain rheumatic diseases lack the needed specialists to treat patients. 

Regions have met the one-month requirement in 77 percent of cases of serious illnesses. 

Patients with less severe conditions are entitled to treatment within two months. Those requirements were met in only 62 percent of cases.

Hansen said he expects hospitals will be up to speed within a year.