4. Paying for services
Adequate funding for health is important to manage the excess demands on the health system. This section considers how countries are PAYING FOR COVID-19 SERVICES. Health financing describes how much is spent on health and the distribution of health spending across different service areas. The section also describes who is covered for COVID-19 testing and treatment, whether there are any notable gaps (in population coverage and service coverage), and how much people pay (if at all) for those services out-of-pocket.
4.1 Health financing
April 21: The Novo Nordisk Foundation has contributed DKK 250 million to increase the regions’ and SSI’s test capacity (http://sum.dk/Aktuelt/Nyheder/Coronavirus/2020/April/Regeringen-og-regionerne-oeger-antallet-af-test-markant.aspx).
May 29: the national government and the Danish Regions reached an agreement on the regions’ funding and tasks in 2021. The regions will be compensated for their net extra expenditures in 2020, which are attributed to the COVID-19 epidemic. The extra expenditures will be estimated at the end of 2020. In 2020, the regions will be allocated DKK 3.1 billion from the government to fund extra costs to protective equipment (https://fm.dk/media/18035/aftale-om-regionernes-oekonomi-for-2021.pdf).
It is expected that regions may run over budgets due to COVID-19 measures, and that this will be accepted by the national authorities (https://dagensmedicin.dk/finansministeriet-corona-regningen-den-tager-vi-senere/). Overruns may be funded by the regions’ cash reserves. Additional funding for research has been provided by both public and private sources for Corona- related research. Additional ressources are used to scale up testing, ICU and ventilator capacity. Retraining of personnel etc. Non critical elective surgery is postponed, but will be provided after the epidemic.
There have not been any major national initiatives regarding changes in the distribution of health spending across different types of care any payment incentives to providers looking after COVID-19 patients. Regions may decide on adjustments in allocation of funding, e.g. from elective surgery procedures to COVID response. However, funding flows as usual and overtime is paid according to regular agreements. Private sector capacity is very limited and not used for COVID-19 patients yet, although private sector ventilators are counted as part of the national level capacity.