Denmark: the long wait for vital surgery

At Aarhus University Hospital, life-saving operations to treat colon cancer are being pushed back far too long. Instead of the legally stipulated two weeks are patients having to wait up to two months, according to Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio. The national press is shocked and fears that the problem could be more widespread.

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Politiken (DK) /

Social contract breached

For Politiken the welfare system is failing:

“It is important that the scandal is dealt with and the mistakes are corrected so that trust in the healthcare system is maintained. Because this is not just about the treatment of the individual patient, but about the social contract in the welfare state: we pay as much as we can into the system with a clear expectation: when it comes to the crunch and a serious illness hits us or our loved ones, the system will do its utmost and perform excellently for us. In this case, the system has failed.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Staffing shortages must be tackled

Aarhus could be just the tip of the iceberg, Kristeligt Dagbladet fears:

“One thing is that the Central Denmark Region hasn't reported the exceeded waiting times. But why were they exceeded in the first place? According to the report, the reason is a shortage of nurses. But it's not only Central Denmark that has shortages of nursing staff. It is therefore to be feared that the cases at Aarhus University Hospital are only the first act in a larger drama affecting the Danish healthcare system. For that reason it is all the more important that we react now.”