The Red Cross opened its first health clinic in Copenhagen in 2011 in collaboration with the Danish Medical Association and the Danish Refugee Council. Since then, it has also opened two clinics in Aarhus and Odense. The three clinics are run and administered by the Danish Red Cross as a joint project with different addresses.
All clinics are registered with the Danish National Board of Health as private clinics, which means that the National Board of Health supervises the clinics and has approved that we comply with all regulations for running a private clinic.
Why did we open the Health Clinic?
The organizations behind the health clinic believe that everyone has the right to health. In Denmark, people without a residence permit do not have access to basic health care, and the need for help is great.
Our partners behind the Health Clinic – the Danish Medical Association and the Danish Refugee Council – have been great support from the beginning and continue to be so.
The clinic has several thousand patient visits every year. You can read more about the number of patients and the reasons for inquiries in the annual reports here (reports in Danish).
What help does the Health Clinic offer?
The Health Clinic offers free basic medical treatment, vaccinations of children, pregnancy examinations, physiotherapy and acute dental treatment to the people who fall outside the Danish public health system.
Who visits the Clinic?
The Health Clinic consults and treats people who do not have legal residence in Denmark or who do not have a yellow health insurance card. In practice, that means people have no access to the Danish health care system other than emergency treatments in case of accidents or acute serious illness. The consultations in the clinic are free of charge, and the necessary medicine will be free for those patients who do not have the means to pay.
Who works at the Clinic?
The medical care is provided by health professionals who their help on a voluntary basis with a shift approximately every five weeks during the clinic’s opening hours. All are affiliated with the Red Cross and enter into a voluntary agreement which follows the Red Cross principles of neutrality and impartiality carried by humanity.
There are many different professions - doctors, nurses, midwives, bio-analysts, physiotherapists, dentists and interpreters. The interpreters usually provide help over the phone from home. There are also extra volunteers who help service the patients, go to the pharmacy, make coffee, etc. These volunteers can be students or other professions. We also have a network of specialists who provide their voluntary assistance in their own private clinic, or they come to the clinic outside normal opening hours.
The Health Clinic is led by a salaried leader and part-time staff.
How is the clinic financed?
Both private individuals, foundations and private companies have supported the health clinic. The clinic is 100% privately funded and is therefore completely dependent on donations and sponsorships.
The Health Clinic’s work is today funded by the Oak Foundation Denmark, which has provided significant support since 2011, as well as Red Cross branches throughout Denmark.
In addition, several companies have made donations in the form of inventory and medical equipment. All donations make a big difference for the patients, and in the clinic we both see and hear how grateful the patients are for the help they receive.
Financial donations are used for medicines, medical materials and equipment that directly benefit patients. Additionally, there are expenses for the entire daily operation, such as house rent, cleaning, medical record systems and phones.
We want to give a special thanks to all our sponsors for supporting our work and making a difference.