Aarhus University Seal

Minister for Health received scientific input for the political work

Minister for Health Nick Hækkerup was in Aarhus on Wednesday to discuss health research with representatives of the Central Denmark Region and Aarhus University. He took particular note of the many examples and good advice that he could use in his work in the Danish parliament.

Aarhus University and the Central Denmark Region have spent a long time been working to arrange a meeting with the Danish Minister for Health. Initially with the former minister Astrid Krag and now with Nick Hækkerup.

"It must be a case of third time lucky," said Allan Flyvbjerg, dean of the Faculty of Health, when he welcomed Minister of Health Nick Hækkerup to Aarhus and to the construction of the New University Hospital in Skejby on Wednesday 19 November 2014.

Together with Christian Boel, who is acting head of corporate management in the Central Denmark Region, Allan Flyvbjerg began the meeting with a brief introduction to the health partnership in the region.

"The region's and university's close collaboration builds on a range of agreements, some of which go all the way back to 1979. They are what our partnership is based on. But in practice it is borne by all of our talented and committed employees. What makes us unique is the common, daily efforts being made not only in research, but also education and patient care," said Allan Flyvbjerg. 

First item on the programme for the minister’s visit was a presentation of the plans for the New University Hospital in Skejby and its current status. The model shown above is a model of the huge construction project which will be between 450,000 - 500,000 m2. The present hospital in Skejby is 160,000 m2.

Project Director for the New University Hospital Frank Skriver Mikkelsen (in the middle) shared his knowledge about the project – both inside and out. Here he is photographed together with the minister and the dean at an observation post with a view of the majority of the construction site.

The programme for the day also included a number of presentations about the latest news within health science research with focus on the benefits for patients. The minister frequently asked questions about the researchers' own position and own recommendations for the themes they presented.

During the presentation made by Professor, MD, DMSc Torsten Lauritzen on preventive health screenings in primary care, one of the things that Minister of Health Nick Hækkerup called for was specific ideas on the implementation process for preventative screenings in the work of general practitioners.

Hunting for examples and good advice

"This is extremely interesting. And, of course, right up my street. Now the financing of the preventative screenings has also been secured in the Finance Act. When do you recommend starting work on this?" asked the minister.

"First and foremost it’s a question of motivating both the general practitioner and the patient to carry out these preventive screenings. As general practitioners we have a duty to tell the target group that this is being offered to them and to convince the patients in question that it is worth them making the effort," answered Torsten Lauritzen.

The discussion subsequently moved on to data security considerations versus the needs of the researchers for access to national registries and databases. Here the minister asked for examples of what access to national data means for health research.

"We are more than happy to provide specific cases. This matter is extremely important to us and for our ability to be able to offer the best possible treatment for patients, also in the future," said Dean Allan Flyvbjerg.

After around three hours visiting Aarhus the minister thanked both the region and the university for a good meeting.

“Many thanks for today. It has been really interesting. I am very impressed with your partnership. You are at the forefront here. And I have received lots of good knowledge in a short period of time. That is very valuable," said Nick Hækkerup.

All photos were taken by photographer Jesper Rais from AU Communication.