• Sweden edition
 
Swedish medical errors prove ever more costly

Swedish medical errors prove ever more costly

Published: 04 Jan 2011 09:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2011 09:29 GMT+01:00

The cost of paying for harm done to patients in the Swedish healthcare system has nearly doubled in the last decade, according to a new report.

Every day, 28 Swedes receive economic compensation for injuries suffered due to medical errors, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports. And the costs of such claims is rising.

Drawing on statistics from the Swedish Patient Insurance Scheme (Landstingens Ömsesidiga Försäkringsbolag – Löf), DN found that the cost of compensation claims due to medical errors has risen from 231 million ($34.2 million) to 420 million kronor ($62.5 million) between 2000 and 2010.

Mixed up test results, injuries suffered during childbirth, infections following surgery, and incorrect drug dosages are just a few of the medical errors that reveal it can be harmful to a patient’s health to end up at a Swedish hospital.

The most common types of injuries for which patients receive economic compensation are orthopedic injures such as broken bones which don’t heal properly. The next most common claims are surgical errors.

“Nerves which are cut,” Swedish Patient Insurance Scheme claims manager Jan Adrups told the TT news agency.

Another common mistake for which patients are compensated are infections, he added.

However, Adrups added that much of the cost increase over the last ten years is likely due to inflation.

And rule changes which went into effect at the start of the year are expected to result in a further rise in complaints.

“We’re expected a certain increase by the end of the year,” Adrups told TT.

Many cases which currently go unreported may come to light under the new system, which requires that patients are always informed about their fight to file a complaint and seek compensation, Adrup explained.

Previously, doctors and nurses who committed medical errors received a warning from the Swedish Medical Responsibility Board (Hälso- och sjukvårdens ansvarsnämnd – HSAN).

The new system will attempt to explore why mistakes took place rather than issuing warnings and removing the risk of being shamed by one’s colleagues is expected to result in more mistakes coming to light.

However, managers at HSAN have criticised the rule changes, which now places the responsibility for investigating medical error claims with the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), for further removing medical professionals from personal responsibility for their errors.

But healthcare unions believe the changes will help improve patient safety, as do representatives from the health board.

“It’s clearly better when a patient doesn’t have to point to exactly who made a mistake. It’s enough to report the injury, than we can look into the cause,” health board oversight head Per-Anders Sunesson told DN.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:37 January 4, 2011 by johnny1939
res ipsa loquitor
12:42 January 4, 2011 by einsteins monkey
"Another common mistake for which patients are compensated are infections, he added."

Beware of infections caused by TICKS!

http://www.borrelia-tbe.se/
14:13 January 4, 2011 by HowSwedeitis
Clearly this is a problem that is being addressed.

-HSII
16:24 January 4, 2011 by Antonito
I do not know any single family not having a member who is or has been suffering due to medical errors. Doctors (I do not mean all...and I do not refer to Swedish doctors in particular) believe are untouchable and have developed a lot of explanations to cover their own mistakes (i.e. about a non-planned estirpation/amputation, etc: "during the operation we discovered that that part was also complicated"....who is going to prove that?). Another problem to track irresponsible procedures is that doctors are reluctant to declare agrainst their colleagues. I particularly think that the problem relies, in part, on the lack of passion for service the doctors use to have in the old times.
18:10 January 4, 2011 by glamelixir
Antonito, come to Argentina. Here, if it wouldn't be for the doctor's passion public health care wouldn't exist.

Sweden needs a bit of that.
08:44 January 5, 2011 by f_delacolina
Yes, i am Argentinean too. Have even a friend who is a doctor in Argentina and now is living and practicing in the U.S. He cant believe why, with all the investment there is, doctors can still make a mistake. Back home they treat you without any machine, even without a good salary. Nurses work just out of passion. I incredible how bad Swedish medicine is. I believe is not the system but that Swedish mentality that everything works in Sweden. I hope nothing happens to me or, if it does, to be able to go back home for treatment.
11:56 January 5, 2011 by kenny8076
ive been trying to tell all these people on here and in Sweden that always slam the US for paying for insurance to doctors visits.... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR in todays societys..... i have heard NOTHING but bad things about hospitals here, both from people and from the news....... you all keep paying crazy taxes for mediocre dr.s, ill pay my $80 a month for world class care.
14:36 January 5, 2011 by flintis
@kenny8076:- I don't mind paying the taxes if the money is used correctly. If they shut the doors, closed down all the refugee camps & migrationsverket, the health service could have loads of money.
22:34 January 28, 2011 by dan_sparrow
fintis, in some countries the money doesnt make the doctor

its not about having the top notch technology to operate with, its about being profesionnal

swedish doctors are not, and foreign doctors are rejected, u would freak out if u hear how many doctors from other countries are driving taxis in sweden...

for the ones from argentina, ure right, at least there its passion what it makes a good doctor, but sometimes not always, favaloro always fought agaisnt that
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability. READ () »

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Advertisement:
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

720
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com