Health minister: No excuse for poor treatment in nursing homes

The health minister speaks out on footage showing ‘unworthy treatment’ of a nursing home patient and vows to take action to improve the care of the elderly

The health minister comments on 90-year-old Else, who did not receive adequate care in a nursing home (photo: screenshot from
July 9th, 2020 1:57 pm| by Kaukab Tahir Shairani

The health minister, Magnus Heunicke, has responded to a banned documentary about a nursing home patient and said that she was exposed to “unworthy treatment”, he said on his Instagram account.

Snippets from the banned documentary showed that the 90-year-old woman identified as Else did not receive adequate care in a nursing home. She had been suffering from dementia.

“There is no excuse for that kind of failure and indignity. It has no place in our homes for elderly care,” Heunicke said.

The minister also convened a meeting with local authorities to discuss the matter. Heunicke invited the patient’s relatives as well as managers and employees of the nursing home to the meeting.

Footage remains unrevealed
The footage was from a TV2 documentary that has yet to be aired.

The documentary used hidden footage in Else’s residence at Kongsgården nursing home in Aarhus.

The High Court has since chosen to ban TV2 from showing the footage but Ekstra Bladet published a clip it got access to.

More dignity in elderly care
Heunicke said that the government will ensure that the poor treatment does not happen again as he called for “more dignity” in elderly care.

The minister said that the Danish Agency for Patient Safety must assess concerns in nursing homes and see the need to initiate an inspection or check of the location.

“The pictures and descriptions are downright terrible and not something we can accept in Denmark for our fellow human beings,” Heunicke said.