No-shows at hospitals costing Denmark significant resources

Lucie Rychla
October 6th, 2015

This article is more than 8 years old.

Hospitals complaining about patients missing or cancelling scheduled appointments, with costs running into millions

Every year, tens of thousands of patients miss an appointment for scheduled medical tests and treatments in hospitals across Denmark, Berlingske reports.

At Bispebjerg Hospital these ‘no-shows’ cost 40 million kroner a year.

READ MORE: Hospitals to dole out fines for missed appointments

“About one third of our patients don’t show up and it’s a huge problem,” Mette Zander, a chief doctor at the diabetes clinic at Bispebjerg Hospital, told Berlingske.

“Failing to attend a medical examination leads to more health complications and a higher mortality rate.”

According to a new report from the Health Committee in Southern Denmark, every 20th patient has missed or cancelled an appointment at Odense University Hospital’s outpatients centre in the past two years.

Each year, the hospital’s patients do not shown up for more than 50,000 appointments out of some 1.1 million.

Waste of time and money
The health minister, Sophie Løhde, is frustrated by the large number of no-shows.

“It is not okay. Every time a patient misses an appointment or chooses not to show up for a scheduled examination, it affects other patients who could have come instead. And it costs hospitals time and money,” Løhde said.

Bispebjerg Hospital estimates ‘no shows’ cost the hospital some 40 million kroner every year, which is roughly the same amount the hospital had to save last year to achieve an economic balance in the Capital Region.


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