Weekly Highlight: 19.02.2008

Denmark: May be the line says it all… “Social work is no longer just about providing warm meals and a bed for the night for the homeless or elderly.”

Wellness for the needy

The wellness wave has finally swept into the ranks of low-income households.
Social work is no longer just about providing warm meals and a bed for the night for the homeless or elderly.
Councils and aid organisations have jumped on the wellness wagon and are now offering aromatherapy, massages and hair care to the less well off.
An increasing number of aid organisations are noticing that people from all walks of life could do with a little pampering.
‘People’s sense of aesthetics and need to feel well cared for does not depend on their social status,’ Terkel Andersen, chairperson of the Council for Voluntary Work told Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper.
Kirkens Korshær, a social help organisation affiliated with the People’s Church (Folkekirken), offers free massages and manicures. The humanitarian organisation, Mødrehjælpen, (Mother’s help) offers single mothers and their babies relaxing massages.
Local councils have also joined the line of voluntary organisations in offering beauty care and wellness packages to less well off residents.
In Assens council in Jutland, for example, DKK 300,000 for hair care were allocated to ensure that the city’s elderly could still look their best.
‘It’s about looking at the whole person and acknowledging that it can still be very important to look presentable and have well-groomed hair even though you no longer have the means to do so yourself,’ said Michael Bjørn, a spokesperson from Assens council.


Foreign Tourists Spent Nearly a Billion Euros Last Summer
Published 19.02.2008, 14.36

Foreign tourists spent over 970 million euros last summer in Finland. From May to October of 2007, 3.3 million foreigners visited Finland, an increase of four percent from the previous year.
About a quarter of the cash spent in Finland came from the pockets of Russian tourists. Russian spending grew by one-quarter from the previous year.
On average foreign tourists spent 291 euros while in Finland, or 49 euros per day. Those who were on business trips spent an average of 69 euros a day. One-third of the money spent went towards shopping, one-quarter was used at restaurants and cafes, and one-fifth went towards lodging.
Most of the foreign travellers came from Russia, Sweden and Estonia. The number of Russian tourists rose by 15 percent from the year before.
Statistics Finland and the Finnish Tourist Board interviewed some 24,000 people in the survey.


Dutch women need more children: minister
Tuesday 19 February 2008

Minister for the family André Rouvoet thinks Dutch families should have more children to help pay for the greying of the population, newspaper De Pers reports on Tuesday..
Dutch women have 1.7 children on average. A figure of 2.1 would be ideal, Rouvoet told the paper.


Norway has no plans to import Turkish labour
First published: 19 Feb 2008, 13:37

Norway may have a labour shortage, but a government minister rejects reports that the country intends to import 100,000 workers from Turkey to address it.
Bjarne Håkon Hanssen was in Turkey last week and claims a misunderstanidng must have led to inaccurate press reports in Ankara and elsewhere across the country that Norway would loosen its immigration restrictions, to recruit and import 100,000 skilled Turkish workers.
One large Turkish web site went so far as to claim that Norway would “open its doors for 100,000 Turks.” Wrong, Hanssen told Oslo newspaper Dagsavisen.
“I have of course never said that and never meant that,” Hanssen said. He does hope, however, that Norwegian companies will look to Turkey in their quest for workers.
“We have between 130,000 and 140,000 vacant positions in Norway, and Turkey has 450,000 skilled workers who are unemployed,” he noted. Hanssen thinks the confusion arose during remarks he and his Turkish colleague made while talking about the labour markets in Norway and Turkey.
“They (the press) haven’t understood that this is about private companies’ needs. Norway as a country won’t be fetching anybody from any place,” Hanssen said.
He noted that Turkish workers would be welcome in Norway, if they are skilled and a Norwegian firm invites them. They have to have a job lined up first before coming, he said.


Hospital in HIV needle mix up
Published: 19 Feb 08 15:23 CET

A nurse at Sahlgrenska University Hospital has been found to have injected a patient with a syringe previously used on an HIV-infected patient.
Officials believe that the oversight may have resulted in the man being infected with the HIV virus.
Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has issued a sharp criticism against the hospital, according to the newspaper Göteborgs Posten.
The two patients, one hospitalized with HIV and the other with severe head injuries, were housed in the same room at the hospital.
Both were to be given injections, but when the nurse went to give the patient with head injuries his injection she accidentally took the syringe which had been used earlier on the HIV patient.
The syringe, which was placed near the patient with head injuries, wasn’t marked with the HIV patient’s name or personal identity number (personnummer).
Upon realizing the mistake, the hospital elected to treat the patient with head injuries as an HIV patient.
However, the man died of his injuries before the hospital could confirm whether or not he’d in fact contracted HIV.
The Board wrote in its report there is a high probability the man was infected with HIV and is demanding that the hospital improve its routines.
This is the second time in recent weeks that the Board has reprimanded Sahlgrenska.
Two weeks ago, health authorities criticized the hospital because a woman was infected with HIV by her husband after he’d received faulty test results showing he was free from the virus.

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