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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the news on Thursday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the news on Thursday
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

First care home residents to receive third Covid-19 vaccine dose

The first people in Denmark to receive a third jab of a Covid-19 vaccine as a booster will do so today.

Health authorities recently stated that groups vulnerable to serious illnesses with Covid-19 will be given a booster. Health care sector workers are also likely to be offered a third dose at a later date.

The third vaccine is intended to give increased immunity against the virus over the winter months.

READ ALSO: Denmark to give third vaccine jab to people with weakened immune systems

Striking nurses to face tribunal court

The Danish nurses’ union, DSU, will today face the regional health authorities which employ nurses in the labour tribunal court, Arbejdsretten.

That is because nurses at several hospitals have recently gone on strike in breach of their collective bargaining agreement.

The wildcat strikes are a protest in turn at government intervention in talks between the nurses’ union and employers over a new deal for wages and working conditions, which broke down over the summer. Thousands of nurses subsequently took part in union-sanctioned strikes.

The nurses could face fines for striking in breach of their new, government-enforced agreement.

You can read more on the background to this story here and more about the Danish labour model here.

Number of job vacancies highest for years

New Statistics Denmark data shows that more private sector jobs are currently unfilled than at any time in the last decade.

A total of 53,500 vacancies were registered in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 14,000 compared to the preceding quarter and the highest number for 11 years, news wire Ritzau reports.

Thousands of small children to join chorus on national song day

Today is national song day for pre-school children, with around 18,000 little ones at nurseries and kindergartens invited to events around the country.

This year’s theme for the event is wild animals.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women's conscription, 'massive' issues at psychiatric centre that treated Field's shooter, and poor marks from NATO for Danish defense are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women’s conscription in Denmark 

The Minister of Defense and many political parties have thrown their support behind extending conscription to women in Denmark after trade unions representing Danish soldiers called for the change. 

“We must have equality for men and women in the Armed Forces,” Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told broadcaster TV2. “It is a challenge for the women who serve their military service that they are not measured on the same scale.” 

Eight political parties — Conservatives, the Danish People’s Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the New Right (Nye Borgerlige), Alternative, and the Left — have all voiced support for the measure. 

In 2022, 73 percent of people in military service were men, while 27 percent were female, according to news agency Ritzau. 

Today, men in Denmark are required to register for conscription following their 18th birthday, while registering for conscription is optional for women. 

A true draft hasn’t been in effect in Denmark for many years — the ranks of Denmark’s conscripts, about 4,500 a year, are filled with volunteers. They serve a standard service of four months, while specialized units (like the horse squadron) can serve up to 12 months. 

Inspectors: Withering criticism of psychiatric centre that treated Fields shooter 

An investigation by the Danish Patient Safety Authority has identified grave problems at Psychiatric Centre Amager, where the suspected Field’s shooter was treated before the attack, according to a draft of the agency’s report reviewed by newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 

The inspection was triggered when an employee at Psychiatric Centre Amager told authorities they suspected there had been failures in the man’s treatment. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority finds that nurses routinely changed patients’ medications without consulting doctors, while medical students sometimes prescribed antipsychotic and sedative medications to patients again without consulting a doctor. 

The 22-year-old man charged with the Field’s shooting reached out to Psychiatric Centre Amager about six months before the attack. He was referred to four different departments within the Psychiatric Centre Amager, according to timelines produced by broadcaster TV2. 

READ MORE: Why does it take so long in Denmark to see a psychologist or therapist?

NATO report: Danish defense deficiencies 

Every two years, NATO assesses its members’ progress toward the alliance’s defense goals. While those reports are usually made public, the Danish government chose to censor the results of the most recent assessment, published several month ago, for fear of Russian exploitation. Even the previous minister of defense, Morten Bødskov, said he had not been allowed to review the contents of the report. 

But now, defense rapporteurs in Parliament have finally been briefed on the NATO report, according to news agency Ritzau. 

“We must not be naive,” says current defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. “This is a sensitive analysis of the Danish defense which points to our vulnerabilities. But within this framework, we must also be open about the challenges facing defense — both among the parties at Christianborg and in public.” 

READ MORE: US military unloads transport ship at Aarhus Harbour