COPENHAGEN, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Despite the current Danish government's pre-election promise to hire 1,000 additional nurses by 2021, the number of nurses in the country's hospitals has dropped by 473 over the past year, the National Board of Health said on Monday.
According to the board, the island of Zealand on which Copenhagen is located experienced the largest decline with 155 nurses losing their jobs primarily due to a round of lay-offs.
"The new figures show that while we have been discussing this, things have gone in the wrong direction. If it is possible to fire so many nurses, then it must also be possible to get the number to go the other way," Minister of Health and Senior Citizens Magnus Heunicke told Danish broadcaster DR TV.
Heunicke reiterated that the government was still committed to its promise to hire 1,000 extra nurses and was exploring ways to pay for it through the Danish Finance Act.
The most recent figures from the National Board of Health show that in the second quarter of 2019 there were 35,216 nurses in Denmark.