Danish nurses to continue strike with no deal on horizon

The Danish Nurses' Organisation (Dansk Sygeplejeråd, DSR) has announced its ongoing strike will be continued, with 225 more nurses participating.

Danish nurses to continue strike with no deal on horizon
Danish nurses demonstrate in May 2021 following a breakdown in talks between employers and their union, the DSR. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The additional nurses will strike from August 17th, the nurses’ union confirmed in a statement.

“Although we are taking a smaller number of nurses on strike this time, it will hurt (us),” DSR chairperson Grete Christensen said in the statement.

“(The strike) will come into effect when departments have returned from their summer holidays and would normally be increasing their activity,” Christensen said.

A strike of 702 nurses from August 10th was announced last week in a previous extension of the ongoing industrial action.

As such, as total of almost 1,000 extra nurses will now take part in the strike in addition to the initial 5,000 that first went on strike last month. That corresponds to around ten percent of the nurses’ union’s total membership.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What Denmark nurses’ strike means for you

The nurses are striking after a DSR’s members twice turned down a collective bargaining agreement (overenskomst in Danish) negotiated with representatives of regional and municipal authorities, which are the employers of the nurses.

Later extensions to the strike were blamed by Christensen on inaction on the part of employers’ organisations and politicians.

“Our aim is to motivate employers to come to the negotiating table with more money for nurses and to get politicians at Christiansborg (parliament, ed.) to deliver the necessary framework needed to give nurses reliable promises that many years of lagging wages are going to end,” the union leader said.

Region North Jutland will see most scheduled surgery cancelled due to the strike, with capacity only sufficient for acute procedures.

Meanwhile, the Central Jutland Region will be required to cut back on the provision for free hospital choice, news wire Ritzau reports.

Nurses involved in surgery and anaesthesia will be among those involved in the additional strikes, DSR said.

The industrial conflict is therefore expected to result in delays to operations and other treatments.

According to DSR, around 36,500 health service activities were postponed during the first three weeks of the strike.

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New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries.