HomeDanish PoliticsModerates oppose abolishing controversial interpreter fee in Danish healthcare.

Moderates oppose abolishing controversial interpreter fee in Danish healthcare.

In a striking political maneuver, the political spokesperson for the Moderates (Moderaterne) party, Monika Rubin, confirmed that the party will vote against a proposal to abolish the controversial interpreter fee in the healthcare system, even though the party has previously expressed a desire to have it abolished. This comes despite the fact that the current leader of the Moderates, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, was Prime Minister when the fee was introduced in 2018 by the VLAK government. The interpreter fee, which requires immigrants with more than three years of residence in Denmark to pay for interpretation during medical visits if they do not speak Danish sufficiently, has been a topic of debate. It was originally introduced as a measure to promote integration but has faced criticism for being exclusionary and creating barriers in the healthcare system.

The other government parties, the Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiet) and Venstre, have also rejected supporting the proposal to abolish the fee, leaving the Moderates in an isolated position. According to Monika Rubin, the fight to abolish the fee is lost “at the present time”. The proposal to abolish the interpreter fee has been put forward by the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Socialist People’s Party (SF), the Radical Left (De Radikale) and the Alternative party (Alternativet). Minister of the Interior and Health Sophie Løhde (V) has stated that it is “reasonable that after three years in the country, one should pay for interpretation if their Danish language skills are so poor that they need it”. Spokesperson on immigration Frederik Vad (S) agrees and does not believe the fee is symbolic policy, which contrasts with Monika Rubin’s previous statements.

This situation raises questions about the Moderates’ position and highlights the complex dynamics in Danish politics, especially when it comes to issues of integration and healthcare services.

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