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HEALTH

Danish public sector workers offered full time contracts

People who work in the public sector for Danske Regioner, the regional authorities which are responsible for health services, will be given the automatic right to become contracted as full time employees.

Danish public sector workers offered full time contracts
All Danske Regioner staff can now choose to switch to full-time contracts. File photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The objective of the decision is to secure staff at hospitals and social services which are operated by regional authorities, Danske Regioner said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Regions’ elected official in charge of the salary and practice committee, Region Zealand council chairperson Heino Knudsen, said it was “crucial” for regional authorities to increase the working hours of staff by moving more people from part-time to full-time terms.

“We need staff in the health services and we need all the staff we can get. Preferably a lot more who are working full time,” Knudsen said.

“Currently, we can see that an overall 32 percent of people employed by Regions are part-time. We very much want to reduce that percentage so that more people want to work full time and have the option of doing so,” he said.

Social care sector staff have had the right to automatically become full-time since 2020, but the option was not previously extended to all employees.

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between a municipality and a region in Denmark?

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HEALTH

Danish region wants health service physiotherapy without referral from doctor

Greater Copenhagen says it wants to extend nationally a scheme allowing patients to access physiotherapy through the public health system without a doctor’s referral.

Danish region wants health service physiotherapy without referral from doctor

Under current rules, referral from a doctor covers around 40 percent of the cost of physiotherapy treatment.

Patients can go directly to physiotherapists without a doctors’ referral if they pay the full cost of treatment.

The proposed scheme would see physiotherapists make the decision as to whether the patient qualifies for the subsidy.

A trial project in two municipalities in the region, Ballerup and Frederikssund, proved popular with patients and doctors.

As a result, the Greater Copenhagen health region wants to see whether the scheme can be extended nationally, news wire Ritzau reports.

“If we can offer easier access to treatment thereby avoid patients getting worsened symptoms and needing more expensive treatment later on, I think it would be worth it,” Karin Friis Bach, an elected head of committee for local health services with Region Greater Copenhagen, told Ritzau.

An evaluation by the health authority suggested that direct access to physiotherapy did not increase costs for the public health provider. The scheme did not result in increased demand at physio clinics, results from evaluation of the scheme showed.

The plan could relieve strain on the health service according to the chairman for the general practitioners’ union PLO in Copenhagen, Peder Reistad.

“In a time where there is a shortage of GPs and the entire health system is under strain, it makes sense to look at whether there are tasks that can be undertaken more smoothly to free up time for general practice,” Reistad said.

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