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HEALTH

Copenhagen hospital beds left unused due to nurse shortage 

Up to one in ten hospital beds in the Greater Copenhagen region are currently unable to be used due to a shortage of nurses.

Copenhagen's Rigshospital
Copenhagen's Rigshospital is unable to use all of its bed due to a nurse shortage, according to a report. File photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The three major hospitals of the Greater Copenhagen region — flagship Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg, and Herlev-Gentofte — have all closed approximately 10 percent of their patient beds due to a lack of staff to support them, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Qualified nurses are being recruited for higher-paying jobs in the private sector, resulting in a shortage in the public health system, according to the report.

The nurse shortage “will accelerate and will not resolve itself until the nurses get significantly more in pay,” said Social Democrat Leila Lindén, a member of the elected board in the Greater Copenhagen Region. 

“This is a serious and very concerning problem,” Lindén also said.

“We must put pressure on (parliament), which must realise that wages must be increased so that they reflect the responsibility and tasks nurses have,” she said.

Last summer saw weeks of strikes by nurses protesting over pay and working conditions. A collective bargaining deal rejected by the nurses’ trade union DSR was eventually enforced by government intervention.

READ ALSO: Danish hospitals lose nurses after summer 2021 strikes

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HEALTH

Danish LGBT+ group welcomes monkeypox vaccination decision

A Danish LGBT+ rights group says that a decision by the country’s health authority to offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men, and have multiple sexual partners, is ‘what we have asked for’.

Danish LGBT+ group welcomes monkeypox vaccination decision

Denmark will now offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men and have multiple sexual partners, the Danish Health Authority said on Tuesday.

Previously, the shots were only given to people who had been in close contact with a confirmed case.

Anyone can get monkeypox from close contact, not just men who have sex with men. However, high numbers of cases have been recorded in that group, in Denmark as well as internationally.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox: Denmark to offer vaccination to at-risk group

The head of secretariat with association LGBT+ Denmark, Susanne Branner Jespersen, told broadcaster DR the organisation was “pleased” that health authorities have broadened the segment to which vaccinations are offered.

“This is what we have asked for, so we can only be satisfied that they are now coming out with a vaccination strategy which fits with the needs we are seeing,” Jespersen said.

“Being vaccinated does not set aside the general guidelines which have come out, but it will give a higher degree of security,” she said.

The organisation last week called for the Danish Health Authority to offer the monkeypox vaccine to men who have sex with men.

That request has now been met. The vaccine is given as two injections at a 28-day interval.

The health authority is in dialogue with regional health providers and hospitals regarding how the vaccination effort will be coordinated and expects to begin vaccinations by the end of this week, new wire Ritzau reported.

The vice director of the Danish Health Authority, Helene Probst, DR on Tuesday that people in risk groups show be “extra aware” of symptoms, with case numbers currently increasing.

“Vaccination is one part of a strategy with several elements, but it is also important to be aware of symptoms,” Probst told DR.

Typical symptoms of Monkeypox are similar to those most experience with influenza.

Additional symptoms can include a rash in the groin area, itching and discomfort, and blisters in the mouth or on hands. Should these symptoms present, the sufferer should contact their doctor, be tested for monkeypox and avoid close contact with others.

The disease can be passed on to others once symptoms are present.

Latest data from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the national infectious disease agency, show that 126 people in Denmark have contracted monkeypox since the first case was detected in the country in late May.

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