Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Family medicine in Denmark: Are there lessons for Botswana and Africa?

By Vincent Setlhare


Family medicine is a new specialty in Botswana and many African countries and its definitionand scope are still evolving. In this region, healthcare is constrained by resource limitation andinefficiencies in resource utilisation. Experiences in countries with good health indicators canhelp inform discussions on the future of family medicine in Africa. Observations made duringa visit to family physicians (FPs) in Denmark showed that the training of FPs, the practice offamily medicine and the role of support staff in a family practice were often different andsometimes unimaginable by African standards. Danish family practices were friendly andenmeshed in an egalitarian and efficient health system, which is supported by an effectiveinformation technology network. There was a lot of task shifting and nurses and clerical staffattended to simple or uncomplicated aspects of patient care whilst FPs attended to morecomplicated patient problems. Higher taxation and higher health expenditure seemed toundergird the effective health system. An egalitarian relationship amongst patients andhealthcare workers (HCW) may help improve patient care in Botswana. Task shifting shouldbe formalised, and all sectors of primary healthcare should have fast and effective informationtechnology systems. HCW training and roles should be revised. Higher health expenditure isnecessary to achieve good health indicators. Keywords: task shifting, Family Medicine, Family Physician, Denmark, health expenditure, egalitaria

Topics: Medicine, R, Public aspects of medicine, RA1-1270
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1026
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.