2007.02.27 - Europa bekymret for udviklingen i Danmark


c/o Swiss Paraplegic Association

Kantonsstrasse 40

CH-6207 Nottwil

Email: president@escif.org


Nottwil, 27 February 2007

Minister for the Interior and Health

Mr Lars Loekke Rasmussen

The Ministry for the Interior and Health

Slotsholmsgade 10 – 12

DK 1216 Denmark

Dear Minister

It has been brought to my attention by one of our member organisations, RYK –

Rygmarvsskadede i Danmark, that Denmark is currently considering a radical restructuring of its hospital system following the regional and local government reform enacted in January 2007.

Denmark has always been acknowledged as one of the leading nations in the acute treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care of people with a spinal cord injury, as well as in research in this area. Primarily, this has been due to highly competent clinical personnel at the Klinik forRygmarvsskader in Hornbaek and Paraplegifunktionen in Viborg. But it is also important to remember that the Danish Board of Health has, for many years, recommended the centralisation of treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care of people with SCI at specialised spinal units.

Experience from many countries has taught us that expertise and centralisation are mutually dependent – especially when dealing with a relatively small group of patients or diagnoses, as is the case for patients with a spinal cord injury.

It would seem, however, that the current proposals ignore the lessons of experience; rather than maintaining or enhancing existing centralisation, they will result in the fragmentation of treatment and care of people with SCI in Denmark. This will, without doubt, lead to a decline in the quality of the services offered.

Such a radical restructuring of the hospital system as is being envisaged offers Denmark an historic opportunity to establish dedicated spinal centres where the treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care of people with a spinal cord injury is centralised geographically together with the other medical specialisations – for example, neurosurgery, urology, plastic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, gastroenterology – upon which this group of patients relies.

On behalf of our members in Denmark, ESCIF strongly encourages you to seize this opportunity.

Yours sincerely

Dr Daniel Joggi


The European Spinal Cord Injury Federation

Copies of this letter have been sent to:

Ms Lone de Neergaard, The Danish Board of Health

Mr Bent Hansen, Region Midtjylland

Ms Vibeke Storm Rasmussen, Region Hovedstaden