Planning for an elderly boom; A System Dynamics Approach to strategic healthcare planning in Bergen, Norway
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The thesis addresses the future development and potential future scenarios of the geriatric health care situation in the city of Bergen. Due to population dynamics and demographic processes the city of Bergen may expect increasing pressure on the geriatric care services. A system dynamics model is presented; The Geriatric Healthcare Projection Model is employed to project potential future scenarios in the geriatric health care sector. The Geriatric Healthcare Projection Model consists of an underlying population model and model components simulating geriatric nurses, clients and infrastructure. The model is applied in policy testing of potential future strategies to counter the rising demands for geriatric care. The thesis reveals that there are major challenges ahead and that the city of Bergen must move quickly to be able to face these challenges. Long delays in public policy making and implementation are identified as a significant problem when attempting to accommodate accelerating care demands in the population. The thesis also investigates the effects of introducing a private sector in geriatric care services. It appears that a private alternative may hold virtue and afford a relief of pressure on the public sector but may also lead to declining tendencies in the public geriatric health care sector.