Report on hospital preparedness before and during the 1st wave of COVID-19


Report no. 18/2022

The purpose of the study is to assess whether the Ministry of Health and the regions ensured that the hospitals were prepared to cope with a pandemic and handle the 1st wave of COVID-19. The report answers the following questions: 

  • Has the Ministry of Health supported the regions’ planning of their response to a pandemic, and did the regions’ preparedness plans ensure an adequate response to a pandemic?
  • Have the Capital Region of Denmark, Region Zealand and the Region of Southern Denmark ensured that the services of the hospitals during the 1st wave were reorganized to handle COVID-19 in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and other announcements? 

The Ministry of Health and the regions did not ensure that hospital preparedness could cope with a pandemic like COVID-19. However, in the spring 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, the three selected regions in this study worked out plans to increase capacity at the hospitals, and in practice there were beds for all admitted COVID-19 patients. The gaps in the preparedness made it difficult for the three regions to handle the situation, particularly concerning expanding capacity in intensive care units and securing access to protective equipment. 

Rigsrevisionen initiated the study in May 2021.

Read the introduction and conclusion (PDF)