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TODAY IN DENMARK

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

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 Monday
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

End of free seat reservations on trains

National rail company DSB revokes both mandatory and free seat reservations on its trains from today.

Seat reservations became mandatory as a measure to ensure social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, initially when services were required by the government to operate under full capacity.

The reservation requirement has remained in place until now, but is lifted as of Monday. That means that the pre-pandemic charge of 30 kroner for a reservation also returns.

DSB recommends purchasing a reservation to be certain of a seat during your journey.

Nurses continue with strike action, despite tribunal court action

Nurses at Herlev Hospital near Copenhagen stopped working for one hour earlier this morning, news wire Ritzau reports.

That is despite a decision by a labour court last week to order the nurses back to work and ‘normalise’ the situation following wildcat strikes against a government-imposed collective bargaining agreement.

You can read more on the background to the dispute here:

EXPLAINED: Why has the government intervened in Denmark’s nurses strike?

One of the Herlev nurses, Rasmus Chirstian Post, explained the decision to continue the strike action to Ritzau.

“The intention is to show the government that we are upset and angry at a government intervention which does not solve any problems. The health system is bleeding,” Post said.

“We are struggling to recruit and hold on to colleagues. We need more hands now and we are going to be 6,000 nurses short in coming years,” he added.

Longstanding problem with emergency calls revealed 

Newspaper Berlingske reports that emergency service leadership in the Greater Copenhagen regional health authority has been aware of problems with emergency 112 phone calls for at least two and a half years.

Documentation accessed by the paper, along with leaked internal mails and witness accounts for staff are all cited by Berlingske in the report.

According to the report, the central control room for emergency services in Copenhagen has experienced issues throughout the period with so-called ‘missed calls’, meaning calls in which the caller does not receive the necessary immediate assistance from a trained health worker on the emergency line, due to call queuing.

Warm September week forecast

Apart from a few wilting leaves on some trees, there’s little sign of autumn thus far in September.

That is likely to continue this week according to meteorological institute DMI, with relatively warm temperatures predicted for the time of year.

Around 20 degrees Celius is expected as the peak temperature on Monday and Tuesday, with things a notch warmer from the middle of the week, with 21 degrees forecast from Wednesday to Friday.

There will be a mix of rain, clouds and sunny spells, however.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds and hail, 'automatic' organ donation, and whether to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds, hail in forecasts 

Denmark can look forward to blustery weather this week, according to the latest forecasts by the Danish Meteorological Institute. “A grey and wet January is drawing to a close and it looks like the month is slamming the door with a bang,” DMI meteorologist Anesten Devasakayam writes. 

On Monday, January 30th, areas across the country will experience strong winds, Devaskayam says, as well as occasional hail. The wind is expected to keep pace as the week progresses, with brief reprieves on Tuesday and Thursday. 

READ MORE: Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and spring, summer, autumn) 

Government reluctant to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination 

Opposition parties say it’s unacceptable for the Danish Regions and national government to drag their feet on informing people their land could be contaminated with PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ linked to health problems including cancer. 

The Regions, which are responsible for environmental cleanups in Denmark, have identified 16,000 plots they suspect are contaminated with PFAS due to industry activity. However, they have yet to inform the people who live there. That’s because the Regions plan to test each plot individually before reaching out — a process that could take decades without a dramatic increase in funding, according to broadcaster DR. 

Food grown in contaminated soil accumulates PFAS, and the Regions have identified many gardens and allotments that might be affected.

“When the Regions have this knowledge, I also think we need to inform the population whether it is their garden or farmland or a kindergarten that is located where there may actually be severe contamination,” Mai Villadsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) told DR. 

READ MORE: PFAS found in organic eggs in Denmark 

Minister of Health: everyone in Denmark should automatically be organ donors 

Currently, Danes have to ‘opt in’ for organ donation —and fewer than one in three do, according to the National Board of Health. 

Health Minister Sophie Løhde contends that Denmark should join many other EU countries that have in recent years switched from opting in to organ donation to opting out. 

She says a ‘soft’ variant of the opt-out system could mean everyone automatically becomes organ donors after they turn 18, but family members still have the final say if the deceased hasn’t made their wishes explicit. 

However, the Danish Ethics Council, a government advisory body, believes in maintaining the opt-in status quo. 

“The right to control oneself and one’s own body is an important principle of health care. Therefore, our recommendation is that we stick to the principles that exist today,” says the council’s Leif Vestergaard. 

You can change your organ donation status here on sundhed.dk. In 2022, 21 patients in Denmark died waiting to receive an organ. 

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