Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Natasja Koitzsch Jensen

Natasja Koitzsch Jensen

Assistant professor

Primary fields of research

The main areas of interest are social inequality in health, welfare states and comparative analysis of health and social policies across countries, organisation of health care services and derived effects on access to health care services and access to health care in a human rights perspective.

 

Current research

Tackling Health Inequalities and Extending Working Lives (THRIVE)

THRIVE is an international collaboration focusing on health inequalities and employment research in the UK, Canada, Sweden and Denmark. In each of the countries policy makers are facing particular challenges related to rising life expectancy, a shift in the age profile of the population and the consequent increase in the prevalence of chronic illness and disability. However, the increases in life expectancy are not experienced equally. Less skilled workers have shorter life expectancy, earlier onset of chronic illness and disability, and are more likely to suffer from multiple health conditions as they get older. The aim of the project is to conduct international research that will advance our understanding of the differential impacts of health inequalities on the opportunity to work later in life and of strategies and policies for extending working lives that take such health inequalities into consideration. The project includes policy analaysis, systematic reviews and epidemiological methods.

Social Inequality in Ageing (SIA)

SIA is a Nordic collaboration focusing on analyzing and comparing how the different Nordic countries address the common challenge of population ageing in view of changes of the welfare state and the demographic composition in the countries. Overall, the SIA project comprises several work packages focusing on life course influences on health and functioning, changes to the welfare state (including health systems) and social inequality.

 

The work package I am involved in is “Health care needs and health care reforms: future needs and inequality impacts”. It is well-documented that individuals with low education, manual occupations and low income, on average, have shorter lives and more health problems. As the population ages, diseases like dementia will increase and become relatively more important and the number of older persons with complex health problems in need of health care from multiple providers will increase. However, the health care systems in the Nordic countries are not primarily organized to meet the needs of older people with complex health problems. Older people represent a large and increasing patient group in emergency departments, which is partly a consequence of defiencies in other parts of the health care system. The aim of the work package is to study the impact of institutional changes of the health care systems on social inequality. The project makes use of policy analysis, qualitative interviews and epidemiological analysis.

 

Teaching

Structure and function of the health care system on the course 'Medical sociology' at The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Measuring quality of life in developing countries on the course 'Health and quality of life' at The Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Undocumented migrants access to health care at the course 'Health and Human Rights' at The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen 

Legal rights in access to health care and quality of care at the course 'Refugee and Immigrant Health' at The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

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