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Gareth Banks on his visit to the European Health Property Network (EuHPN) Workshop in Copenhagen

Min Read

by AHR


What a fantastic few days in Copenhagen and Molmö! Huge thanks to the EuHPN for facilitating this challenging two day debate on Healthcare Infrastructure ending with a great study tour to the new Malmö Hospital!

One key theme emerged
Geographical access to healthcare services.

This lead to the discussion on three key challenges which we can all relate to.

  • Accessibility to acute and primary care
  • The global staffing crisis
  • Prevention through local community services

Scandinavia has some challenging geographical circumstances and are starting to explore how technology can help give access to all, for example, through use of Microsoft HoloLens linking a local physio to a remote surgeon in Norway. The alternative being several boat trips or a helicopter only available 100 days out of 365. It can take an entire day to travel to see an optician.

But where is the line drawn between what is safe and appropriate when it comes to locating services? There doesn’t seem to be one size that fits all as globally we all experience geographic and demographic variations.

Emerging research data presented by a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Nuffield Trust demonstrated that centralising services does not necessarily lead to better acute care in the UK. Reducing local services can negatively impact local economies and concentrating staff in large acute hospitals away from their homes can lead to a drop in morale as connection to their local community is weakened. However, in speaking with Norwegian health planners over dinner - this is contradictory to their experience as the quality of care seems to improve or remain the same in large acute hospitals.

AI technology will provide some solutions for the global staffing crisis but reaching the less digitally agile will need a community solution to care.

‘Community is everything’ - one of the last sentiments from the Finnish / Canadian Professor from Aalto University in Finland. I think it’s safe to say that all Architects and Designers can agree. Designing healthy, sustainable, accessible communities for all ages and cultures with joined up, rapid access to general healthcare, is the starting point for preventing illness.

Posted on:

Apr 4th 2023


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