Danish Ambassador talked with healthcare opinion leaders about covid-19 vaccination and chronic diseases

Danish Ambassador Søren Kelstrup hosted a meeting with Senator Roman Kraus, the most renowned professors in diabetes and obesity, representatives of insurance companies and Danish company Novo Nordisk to discuss habits of people, their current lifestyle and better prevention. The Ambassador also shared Danish best practice in covid-19 pandemic and vaccination with his guests.

Sharing Danish experience in vaccination

More than 4.4 million people in Denmark have been vaccinated against covid-19, which corresponds to 76% of the Danish population and 87% of those who were eligible to be vaccinated. Danish Ambassador Søren Kelstrup summed up why high percentage of Danes had been vaccinated. Danish Ministry of Healthcare invested a lot in informing the population about the vaccine and registration. The key information is available in this memo.

Covid-19 has shown the importance of the treatment of chronic diseases

As Danish Ambassador said, we should not neglect chronical diseases in our political agendas, although new diseases and illnesses appear. In Denmark, such as in other European countries, we see the increase of chronic diseases in the population. 2 out of 3 Danes over 16 years have at least one chronic disease and 1 in 4 Danes above 16 live with 2 or more chronic diseases. 8,3 percent suffer from diabetes. The number of people with chronic diseases increased by 31% from 2009 to 2017.

Increasing demands lead to rising expenditure. Chronic diseases are expensive. Therefore, it is also important to invest in prevention. In Denmark, healthcare expenditure accounts for 10% of GDP (2017). 80% of Danish Healthcare is spent on chronic diseases. 10% of population accounts for 71% of all healthcare expenses. Nordic Council of Ministers agreed that by 2030, the Nordic countries should allocate 5% of the GDP to treatment and 5% of the GDP to prevention. Today, the ratio is approximately 9,5 to 0,5.

Obesity – is it an illness?

During our meeting, there has not been a clear consensus on whether obesity is an illness. But everybody agreed, that obesity is a problem with huge implications on healthcare, especially after covid-19 pandemics when people did not have so much movement.

In 2020, the Danish Ministry of Health acknowledged the need for a national center and the Danish National Center for Obesity was established. This center should collect knowledge on the practise and science of prevention and treatment regarding obesity, and disseminating evidence-based knowledge. Its website is available here: English - Nationalt Center for Overvægt (




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