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Government Finances, Economic Statistics
Louise Mathilde Justesen
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Health care expenditures (SHA)

Health care expenditures is an annual and three-dimensional statistics of health care consumption expenditures in Denmark. The consumption expenditures are distributed across different health functions, providers and financing schemes, which makes it possible to identify what is consumed, where it is consumed, and who has financed the consumption. The statistics is shown in millions DKK.

Data description

The statistic is a three-dimensional annual statistic, which shows consumption expenditures distributed across health care functions, providers and financing schemes. The statistic crosses health care functions with providers and financing schemes, respectively and providers with financing schemes. This implies that it is possible to identify how health care consumption is distributed across different health care functions, where these are delivered and further how it is financed. The consumption expenditures are linked to a health care function, which is delivered by a provider such as a hospital, which further have been financed by for example government schemes.

The statistics are developed according to international standards for health care consumption expenditures following the manual A System of Health Accounts (SHA2011). Furthermore, the data is used as an input to OECD's annual publication Health at a Glance,, which purpose is to compare health care systems across countries.

  • Functions: shows how consumption is distributed across different health care goods and services, which purpose is to fulfill certain needs. It distinguishes between curative care, rehabilitative care, long-term care, ancillary services (non-specified by function), medical goods (non-specified by function), preventive care, and governance and health system administration.
  • Provider: shows who delivers the different kind of health care goods and services. It distinguishes between primary and secondary providers. The primary providers contains hospitals, long-term care facilities, medical and dental practices, other ambulatory health care providers such as physiotherapists and chiropractors, pharmacies, providers of ancillary services and preventive care. The secondary providers contain government health administration agencies and households.
  • Financing scheme: shows which schemes finance the consumption of the different health care goods and services and the consumption of these at the different providers respectively. The funding of health care goods and services can come from government schemes, voluntary health care payment schemes, out-of-pocket payments and funding from non-profit organizations.

Classification system

The classifications for health care expenditures follows the international manual for health care expenditures A System of Health Accounts - SHA 2011. Below you will find a description of the main groups of each dimension. For further detail see the classifications pages.

Health care functions

Below the overall health care functions are described. For a more detailed description see the classification page of health care functions.

Curative care: health care goods and services which intent to relieve symptoms of illness/injury, to reduce the severity of an illness/injury or to protect against exacerbation and/or complication of an illness/injury that could threaten life or normal function. Curative care distinguishes between inpatient curative care, outpatient curative care and home-based curative care.

Rehabilitative care: health care goods and services, that intent to stabilize, improve or restore impaired body functions and structures, compensate for the absence or loss of body functions and structures, improve activities and participation, and prevent impairments, medical complications and risks. Rehabilitative care distinguishes between inpatient, outpatient and home-based rehabilitative care.

Long-term care (health): consists of a range of medical and personal care services that are consumed with the primary goal of alleviating pain and suffering and reducing or managing the deterioration in health status in patients with a degree of long-term dependency. Long-term care (health) distinguishes between inpatient, outpatient and home-based long-term care.

Pharmaceuticals and other medical non-durable goods: pharmaceuticals products and non-durable medical goods intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation or treatment of disease. This includes prescribed medicines, over the counter drugs, and other medical non-durable goods. Function and mode of provision are not specified.

Therapeutic appliances and other medical durable goods: medical durable goods (glasses, hearing aids etc.) that supports deformities and/or abnormalities of the human body, orthopedic appliances, prosthetics or artificial extensions that replace missing body parts or artificial extensions that replace a missing body part, e.g. artificial limbs and other prosthetic devices, including implants: an implant is a medical device made to replace (or supplement the functionality) of a missing biological structure and other medical-technical devices. Function and mode of provision are not specified.

Preventive care: measures that aims to avoid or reduce the number or the severity of injuries and diseases, their side effects and complications.

Governance and health system administration: services that focus on the health system rather than direct health care, and are considered to be collective, as they are not allocated to specific individuals but benefit all health system users.

Memorandum items: a number of supplementary items besides the above functions that supplies additional information. This includes supplementary information about specific expenditures in side the scope of the SHA-manual like total pharmaceutical expenditure and COVID-19-related costs. Both of these items comprises of different functions. For example total pharmaceutical expenditure comprises of expenditures from inpatient curative care and non-specified medical goods like prescribed medicine and over the counter drugs. Moreover, additional information about long-term care (social) obtained, which is outside the scope of the SHA manual and thus not defined as direct health care consumption but instead as health care related. Long-term care (social) consists i.a. of practical help and food service, which are closely related to long-term care (health).

Health care providers

Here the primary health care providers are described. The detailed description can be found on the classification page for health care providers.

Hospitals: licensed establishments that are primarily engaged in providing medical, diagnostic and treatment services that include physician, nursing and other health services to inpatients and the specialized accommodation services required by inpatients. They may also provide day care, outpatient and home health care services. A distinction is made between general, mental and specialised hospitals.

Residential long-term care facilities: comprises establishments that are primarily engaged in providing residential long-term care that combines nursing, supervisory or other types of care as required by the residents. In these establishments, a significant part of the production process and the care provided is a mix of health and social services, with the health services being largely at the level of nursing care, in combination with personal care services. The medical components of care are, however, much less intensive than those provided in hospitals.

Providers of ambulatory health care: establishments that are primarily engaged in providing health care services directly to outpatients who do not require inpatient services. This includes both offices of general medical practitioners and medical specialists and establishment specializing in the treatment of day-cases and in the delivery of home care services.

Retailers and other providers of medical goods: pharmacies, retail sellers or other establishments whose primary activity is the retail sale of medical goods to the general public for individual or household consumption or utilization. Establishments whose primary activity is the manufacture of medical goods, such as making lenses, orthopedic or prosthetic appliances for direct sale to the general public for individual or household use, are also included, as is fitting and repair done in combination with sale.

Financing schemes

A more detailed description of the financing schemes can be found on the classification page for financing schemes.

Government schemes: financing schemes that are determined by law or by the government. A separate budget is set for the programme, and a government unit has an overall responsibility for it.

Voluntary health insurance schemes: schemes based upon the purchase of a health insurance policy, which is not made compulsory by government. Insurance premiums may be directly or indirectly subsidized by the government.

NPISH financing schemes: non-compulsory financing arrangements and programmes with non-contributory benefit entitlement that are based on donations from the general public, the government or corporations.

Household out-of-pocket: a direct payment for health care goods and services from the household primary income or savings (no third-party payer is involved): the payment is made by the user at the time of the purchase of goods or use of services.

Sector coverage

Not relevant for these statistics.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Consumption expenditures: The statistic follow the SHA2011 definition of consumption expenditures, which is equal to the sum of production, interest rates, consumption of capital and social benefits in kind minus the sale of goods and services including household out-of-pocket payments.

Statistical unit

Residential units who consumes health care either in Denmark or foreign.

Statistical population

All residential units who consumes health care either in Denmark or foreign.

Reference area


Time coverage

The statistics is calculated from 2010 onwards.

Base period

Not relevant for these statistics.

Unit of measure

The expenditures are stated in million DKK and is shown in current prices.

Reference period

The statistics follow the calendar year.

Frequency of dissemination


Legal acts and other agreements

§ 6 i Act on Statistics Denmark

The statistics about health care expenditures and financing is regulated under Regulation 2015/359 of the Europa-Parliament and of the Council.

Cost and burden

There is no direct reporting burden as the information mainly is obtained by accounts for the central and local governments along with annual reports form various relevant websites.


Additional information can be obtained by contacting Statistics Denmark. For more information see the subject side.