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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

New rules for parental leave, guards in train stations, and blood tests for PFAS exposure are among the top news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday
A change to parental leave rules may help relieve burdens on new moms. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

New rules for parental leave start Tuesday 

The parental leave rules for employed people in Denmark make an egalitarian change this week. 

For babies born starting August 2nd, one parent can’t take all 48 weeks of the parental leave after the birth. 

Moving forward, 11 weeks will be earmarked for both the mother and father’s exclusive use. If mom or dad chooses not to take parental leave, those 11 weeks can’t be transferred to their partner and will be forfeit. 

Mothers will still be entitled to four weeks’ leave before the birth, which does not count toward the 48-week total. 

This change won’t affect parental leave for the self-employed, unemployed, or students, who will be able to transfer up to 22 weeks to their partner. 

READ MORE:  Parental leave in Denmark: What are the new rules and when do they take effect?

DSB increases security presence 

S-train commuters may have noticed new guards on patrol Monday. DSB, the Danish state-owned railway company, has added guards at 29 stations in Copenhagen — primarily on lines Copenhagen H to Køge and Copenhagen H to Høje Taastrup, newswire Ritzau reports. 

It’s part of a 24 million-kroner-per-year package to improve security by DSB, which also includes the deployment of 700 new cameras at 46 stations. 

DSB has also announced plans to increase staffing in its video surveillance department — to two employees. 

Parties propose blood screenings for the pregnant, breastfeeding 

Representatives from the Conservatives, the Liberal party, and the Socialist People’s Party plan to offer blood screenings for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant and live in areas contaminated with PFAS. 

PFAS, also known as PFOS or ‘forever chemicals,’ persist in water and soil and can accumulate in the body over time with harmful effects to human health. 

“In the areas where the drinking water has had extremely high values, and at the same time you have eaten vegetables and meat which also have high values, you are extraordinarily exposed,” says Per Larsen, health spokesman for the Conservatives.

READ MORE: Danish health authority to reconsider PFAS advice for pregnancy and breastfeeding

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Skyrocketing wait times for psychiatrists, splitting monkeypox vaccine doses, and the 7-Eleven ransom are among the top news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

It takes a year to see a psychiatrist in Denmark 

New data from sundhed.dk analysed by broadcaster DR show an average wait time of 63 weeks to get in with a psychiatrist. 

Wait times for mental health care have climbed dramatically over the last several years. In 2018, the average wait to see a psychiatrist was 23.6 weeks, DR reports, while in 2021, the wait was 37.4 weeks. That’s a 68 percent leap from 2021 to 2022. 

Regional differences in wait times are dramatic — in North Jutland, patients wait an average of 84 weeks. 

Minister of health Magnus Heunicke has refused to sit for an interview with DR on the status of a 10-year plan to improve access to mental healthcare. 

READ MORE: Depressed in Denmark: How to find a therapist in the ‘world’s happiest country’ 

Danish officers will train Ukrainian forces in UK 

Within the next six months, 130 Danish instructors will arrive in the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian soldiers who have “no or limited military experience,” according to newswire Ritzau. 

“We have undertaken to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in Great Britain, and I am pleased that Denmark will participate in that project,” Ben Wallace, the British minister of defense, said at a press conference in Copenhagen Wednesday afternoon. 

Danish minister of defense Morten Bødskov says the country has also extended an offer to train Ukrainian soldiers in Denmark — for example, in de-mining. 

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark, Vladimir Barbin, sees the assistance to Ukraine as “delaying peace,” he wrote in an email to broadcaster TV2. 

Danish drugmaker objects to plan to split monkeypox doses 

Bavarian Nordic, the company behind the monkeypox vaccine, has spoken out against the US Food and Drug Administration’s plan to split single doses of the drug into five smaller doses under certain circumstances, according to reporting by the Washington Post. 

The FDA signed off on the plan on Tuesday in an effort to extend a limited supply of doses to a greater population. 

The US isn’t the first country to attempt to get creative with the dosing of the vaccine. According to Bavarian’s instructions, the monkeypox vaccine should be administered over two shots separated by at least 28 days, but the UK has begun offering only a single shot. 

If countries decide to give one shot now, they have a long time to offer the booster and still achieve the same durability advantage. There is plenty of data to support one shot,” Paul Chaplin, managing director of Bavarian Nordic, told news outlet Science in July. 

READ MORE: Danish LGBTQ+ group welcomes monkeypox vaccination decision 

7-Eleven mostly back on grid after ransomware attack

About 169 of 7-Eleven’s 176 Denmark locations are back up and running, according to a statement from the convenience store company on Wednesday evening. 

However, convenience stores at train stations (where you can buy a transport card) only accept Dankort at the moment. All operational stores outside of train stations currently accept Mobile Pay and cash, and many can take Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort. 

7-Eleven has also confirmed that the outage was due to a ransomware attack — hackers demanded money to return access to the company’s data and systems. 

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