The vast majority of citizens in Greenland use the healthcare system several times a year. New study conducted by doctor Sofia Botvid has together with researchers at Steno Diabetes Center Greenland and Queen Ingrid's Health Center in Nuuk investigated the use of primary health care. Around 85% of all citizens in Greenland have received at least one health consultation during a year, which is similar to the situation in the other Nordic countries. Around 85% of all citizens in Greenland have received at least one health consultation during a year, which is similar to the situation in the other Nordic countries.
In 2021, 335,494 consultations were carried out in the primary part of the Greenlandic Health Service. Female patients/citizens account for 62% of contacts with health care. This means that women are in contact with the healthcare system more often. In Nuuk, telephone consultation was the most frequent form of consultation, accounting for 44% of all consultations, followed by 32% in person, while email, video and administrative consultations accounted for the rest. Outside Nuuk, the majority, 49%, of all contacts were in-person consultations. The consultations were mostly about general health problems, followed by muscle and joint genes as well as skin diseases.
The goal of the Greenlandic Health Service is to provide high-quality health care to all citizens regardless of age and residence. This goal is challenged by the vast geographic distances, shortage of healthcare professionals and other resources, and more. At the same time, the cost of health care constitutes a very large item on the Finance Act. It is therefore important to know the use of healthcare to ensure an efficient and functional primary sector accessible to citizens. The purpose of this study was to describe the use of the health care primary sector over the course of a year, based on gender, age, form of consultation and place of residence. The full study can be found here.
“The results show that the vast majority of citizens in Greenland use primary health care on a large scale and that a very large number of consultations are delivered throughout Greenland,” says Professor Michael Lynge Pedersen, who heads Steno Diabetes Center Greenland. “At the same time, it is important that we use this knowledge to reflect on potential improvement opportunities. For example, the use of video consultations could be strengthened,” he concludes.