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HEALTH

Danish health authorities to spend on recruitment and postpone construction in 2023

Denmark’s five regional health boards have finalised budgets for 2023, with recruitment and improvement of working environments largely prioritised over expansion and construction projects.

Danish health authorities to spend on recruitment and postpone construction in 2023
Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. Regional health boards have set their budgets for 2023, with focus on addressing staff shortages. File photo: Hannah Mckay/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The budgets will provide more money for recruiting and retaining staff, improving work environments at hospitals and on local services.

Spending on facilities has been given lower priority, meaning several construction projects are to be postponed, the collective organisation for the regional health authorities, Danske Regioner, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Regions are attempting to address a labour shortage in the health service and the new budgets reflect this, national chairperson Anders Kühnau said.

“In the regions we have great focus on patients that are waiting for treatment here and now. It is therefore our top priority to acquire relevant personnel so we can reduce waiting times for patients,” Kühnau said in the statement.

“That applies to strain at emergency departments, psychiatric departments and operatin theatres right now – but also to longer-term challenges,” he said.

Spending on local services includes boosted budgets for GP services.

Reduced spending on physical facilities is linked in part to the current climate of high energy costs and inflation.

“Prices are increasing and we must be responsible in the Regions. Specifically, that will mean that some construction projects must unfortunately be postponed. Only the most essential will be prioritised,” Kühnau said.

The suspended constructions and those that will still go ahead were not specified.

Regional budget agreements for 2023 also include funding for cyber security. Extra spending will also go on drinking water and decontamination of ground pollution.

Regions – and their elected boards – administrate public hospitals and the GP system. They also orchestrate regional mass transit and are involved in welfare and social development.

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

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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

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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