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Cancer patient pathways in Denmark as a joint effort between bureaucrats, health professionals and politicians—A national Danish project


  • Probst, Helene Bilsted
  • Hussain, Zubair Butt
  • Andersen, Ole


In 2007 and 2008 Danish Cancer Patient Pathways for 32 cancer types were developed and afterwards implemented on a national scale. Often bureaucrats, health professionals and politicians look upon the health sector in different ways and work independent of each other. In Denmark, as indeed internationally, patient pathways are frequently developed solely by health professionals and the consequence may be major difficulties in implementing the pathways on a national scale. In this article we describe how national Danish Cancer Patient Pathways were developed with a consensus seeking model and the impact it has had on the health system. The model used in Denmark ensured involvement and cooperation between bureaucrats, health professionals and politicians and afterwards a successful national implementation. The Cancer Patient Pathways has significantly reduced waiting times which is thought to increase survival. This experience gives important input to the continuous challenges on how to implement evidence based medicine on a national scale and stipulates a model for this process.

Suggested Citation

  • Probst, Helene Bilsted & Hussain, Zubair Butt & Andersen, Ole, 2012. "Cancer patient pathways in Denmark as a joint effort between bureaucrats, health professionals and politicians—A national Danish project," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 65-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:105:y:2012:i:1:p:65-70
    DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2011.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karsten Vrangbaek & Mikkel Nielsen, 2010. "Colorectal cancer care in Denmark: status and dilemmas," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 10(1), pages 5-13, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dyrop, Heidi Buvarp & Safwat, Akmal & Vedsted, Peter & Maretty-Nielsen, Katja & Hansen, Bjarne Hauge & Jørgensen, Peter Holmberg & Baad-Hansen, Thomas & Bünger, Cody & Keller, Johnny, 2013. "Cancer Patient Pathways shortens waiting times and accelerates the diagnostic process of suspected sarcoma patients in Denmark," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 110-117.
    2. Wilkens, Jens & Thulesius, Hans & Schmidt, Ingrid & Carlsson, Christina, 2016. "The 2015 National Cancer Program in Sweden: Introducing standardized care pathways in a decentralized system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(12), pages 1378-1382.


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