New Danish ‘super hospital’ has more money for art than beds

Questions arise over priorities during hospital construction

Too much art and not enough medicine seems to be the issue creating debate during the construction of a new hospital in Hillerød.

The hospital is part of the Capital Region, where over 100 million kroner is set aside for art and aesthetics in the buildings. The new hospital is scheduled to receive 38 million kroner of that to create a pleasant hospital experience.

Beds or bas relief?
Local politicians are questioning the wisdom of allocating that sum for artistic improvements when they are already facing a budget-driven decision to cut nearly 100 beds from the 662 planned for the new hospital.

“It is important that there is something pleasant to look at while one is hospitalised, but when the once the choice is been between an operating theatre and art, art loses,” Capital Region’s chairman Bent Hansen told Jyllands Posten.

Money for art’s sake
Unlike government building projects, which are required to allocate 1.5 percent of labor costs to artistic improvements fro a project, the regions can choose how much they want to spend on art for the new super hospitals.

Dansk Folkeparti health spokesperson Liselott Blixt said that she did not believe that public funds should be spent on art when budgets are already, and that hospitals should instead seek outside funding or get artists to exhibit.

READ MORE: Construction of new super-hospitals delayed

Blixt’s counterpart Flemming Møller Mortensen, health spokesman for Socialdemokraterne, said that art is an important part of hospital construction.

“I understand that it is a difficult dilemma,” he said. “However, I hope that if art must be cut from budgets during construction, it can be added back in later on.”





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