According to recently passed Danish legislation, all Danish hospitals are obliged to take part in scientific research. As data on financial support for research activities are lacking, we assessed the resources allocated to research from the budget of the central hospital management as a percentage of the total budget at Danish regional hospitals in 2007.
A postal survey was conducted at 13 hospitals in the Western part of Denmark. The questionnaire comprised items in the following major categories: 1) budget allocated specifically for research and travel grants; 2) employment of scientific and technical support staff; 3) facilities and equipment for research; and 4) research dissemination.
Questionnaires were returned from 11 hospitals. Six hospitals reported to have dedicated fixed amounts on the budget for research, exact figures were reported in four cases only equivalent to 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.3% and 0.6% of the total budget. Most hospitals had associate professors, but only five had full professors. Seven hospitals supplied laboratories and technical facilities, eight hospitals held staff-meetings on a regular basis and four published an annual report on research activities.
In the majority of regional hospitals in Western Denmark, less than 0.3% of the total budget administered by the central hospital management was allocated specifically for research. These figures, however, may not be accurate as individual departments may allocate additional resources from local budgets. We recommend that regional hospitals define research strategies and allocate the necessary funding in their budgets.