Morning headlines: Wednesday 30th January 2019

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Opposition parties meet on elderly care issues

Political parties opposed to the government are meeting today to discuss elderly care. It comes after serious concerns were raised about operations at Esperi Care facilities, with authorities attributing one patient death to neglect. Esperi’s CEO quit her job saying she focused too much on profits instead of patients, and opposition MPs have been quick to turn the situation into an attack on the government’s plans to have more privatisation in healthcare. Today, Social Democrat parliamentary group leader Antti Lindtman has called a meeting with the Finns Party, Greens, Left Alliance, Christian Democrats and Swedish People’s Party to discuss a possible joint action against the government’s handling of elderly care.

Road warnings as heavy snowfall continues: accidents reported

There’s warnings of dangerous driving conditions across the country this morning, with a particularly bad situation expected in southern and eastern Finland, the south west, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, North Savo and North Karelia. The heavy snowfall of the last few days moves into Central Finland, and south/central Lapland as well as the day goes on. Already this morning in Jyväskylä a passenger car collided with a bus on Länsi-Päijänteentie around 08:30 and while there were no injuries there were traffic delays while rescue crews arrived at the scene. In Vantaa this morning a chain of 6 cars collided on Kehä III near the Pakkala junction. That accident is also causing some delays on the road.

Employment minister looks for ideas in UK 

The Finnish Minister of Employment Jari Lindström (Blue) says he’s looking for ideas about how to get more people back to work, from Britain. Meeting with UK ministers today and tomorrow, Lindström will also learn more about how the UK has worked to integrate new arrivals and get migrants into the job market. Also on the agenda during the visit will be Finland’s upcoming EU presidency which begins in July. In theory Britain will be out of the EU by then, however nothing is certain about Brexit and Finnish officials will certainly be dealing with Brexit issues whether the UK is in our out of the EU, or a transition period is ongoing.

Report: Maintenance problems plague new children’s hospital 

The brand new Helsinki Children’s Hospital, which opened last September, has been plagued with maintenance problems, according to a report by public broadcaster Yle. Humidity and moisture issues have been discovered on at least three floors, while staff have filed hundreds of maintenance requests each month. Hospital administrators say the number of maintenance issues is small overall, and they haven’t impacted the hospital’s work.

Wednesday morning weather 

There’s road warnings in place across the country as snowfall continues. This morning, there’s snow forecast pretty much everywhere except along the Ostrobothnia coast from Pori and Rauma to Vaasa and Oulu. Temperatures range from -16°C in north west Lapland to -10°C in Jyväskylä and -2°C in Åland.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 30th January 2019 / Credit: FMI