The 5 Regions of Denmark all held a citizens’ summit on the 5th of March, 2011 where a total of 1000 citizens participated. The citizens’ summits were planned and conducted by The Danish Board of Technology Foundation in cooperation with the Danish Regions and the individual regions of Denmark.
The subject of the citizens’ summits
The health care service belongs to us all and as such concerns us all. The money spend on this area is at its highest level yet and the expenses has risen significantly during the new millennium. Even so, the popularly elected politicians are forced to make choices and reject suggestions which affect the everyday life of employees, patients and their relatives.
It is crucial to secure the continuance of values on which the health care system is build, especially as the expenses cannot continue to soar as they have done this part decade. It is in everybody’s interest that our health care services maintain a high level of quality and efficiency, and that we remain able to receive the necessary treatment whenever it is needed.
The Danish Regions are responsible for managing the Danish health care system and at the citizens’ summit the politicians from The Regional Council was able to engage the citizens in an open, democratic debate on how the health care system is to be managed in the future. At these summits, the citizens’ opinions were at the center of attention, undisturbed by political interference as the politicians were invited simply to listen as they acted the neutral chairmen.
The course of the summits
The five citizens’ summits were conducted almost identically and based on the same concept in order to produce comparable results. The results consisted of more than 130 articulated visions for the health care system; one from each table. In addition to this, the participants gave a number of individual answers via electronic polls. These allowed for the results to be immediately shown on big screen.
The citizens’ summit results provided the politicians with important inputs for their continued work.