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Ambulance call outrage: 'Are you black or white?'

Ambulance call outrage: 'Are you black or white?'

Published: 25 Jun 2012 17:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jun 2012 20:49 GMT+02:00

Swedish emergency operators quizzed a pregnant English-speaking immigrant about her race and ethnicity when she unexpectedly went into labour at the weekend and was forced to wait more than two hours for an ambulance.

By the time emergency crews arrived, the woman's premature infant died within minutes of being delivered.

"Our baby would be alive today if an ambulance had come right away," 33-year-old Ehimati Adesuwa told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Adesuwa, a native of Nigeria currently living in the Stockholm suburb of Rågsved, called emergency services operator SOS Alarm shortly after noon on Saturday after being struck by excruciating abdominal pain.

As she was seven months pregnant, Adesuwa became more concerned when she discovered discharge consisting of fluid and blood.

While the operator on the other end of the line assured Adesuwa an ambulance would be dispatched immediately, no ambulance arrived.

Nearly an hour later, Adesuwa called Swedish emergency number 112 again, only to be faced with a series of questions from the operator, some of which the 33-year-old felt had little relevance to the medical emergency for which she was seeking help.

"She wondered where I came from and if I was black or white. What does that matter? I thought they tried to save lives," she told Aftonbladet.

Her husband, 29-year-old Olugbabi Olukunle, arrived home from work to find his wife screaming in pain and placed yet another call to SOS Alarm.

But an ambulance didn't show up until around 2.40pm, nearly 2.5 hours after Adesuwa placed her first call for help.

Upon arrival, paramedics helped the 33-year-old deliver the premature baby, but the infant died within minutes.

"It was a boy. He was quiet, but shaking," said husband Olukunle to Aftonbladet.

"We had planned and dreamed about a family. Now we're crying and everything is ruined."

The couple, who have European residence permits issued by Italy, came to Sweden earlier this year after Olukunle received work at a construction site.

They have since reported the incident to police, and it is also being investigated by SOS Alarm, which disputes the couple's account of events.

"It's a tragic event. But our information indicates it wasn't two and a half hours," SOS Alarm spokesperson Anders Klarström told Aftonbladet.

According to Klarström, questions from emergency operators about Adesuwa's skin colour were "irrelevant" and not among the questions operators are supposed to ask those who call seeking help.

"It must have resulted from confusion with the language," he said, despite the fact that all the parties involved in the call speak excellent English.

Speaking later to Aftonbladet, Klarström admitted that the operators do sometimes ask about the colour of a person's skin is it relates to blood circulation but that the operator "absolutely didn't ask whether the patient was black or white".

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Your comments about this article

18:27 June 25, 2012 by sherkovic
the simplest answer is that, everyone was on midsummer vacation and there was no driver/doctor available for emergency. Glad midsommer Sweden.
20:06 June 25, 2012 by Daho
I'm surprised The Local didn't address the "black or white" question further. Because there is an explanation in the Aftonbladet article.

Klarström, at SOS Alarm, says they asked about the tone of the skin in order to ensure there was blood circulation, but they certainly did not ask if the patient was black or white.

The article does not state that the Swedish operator spoke excellent English, but the Nigerians did.
20:34 June 25, 2012 by canuk
TheRag wants to incite racism in order to get views to line the pockets of the UK born owner. Who cares about the facts when its fiction that pays the bills.
21:33 June 25, 2012 by G Kin
SWEDEN SWEDEN SWEDEN.

One of the countries with the best Healthcare Systems in the world...

Civilized. OH Great.
21:42 June 25, 2012 by Radhus
As usual, just sickening that there is yet another appalling case involving the emergency services. This is the capital city of a rich country and it still happens. How much worse can it get? How many more cases like this need to occur before the healthcare system in this country is deemed a failure?

I'm so sorry Ehimati Adesuwa and Olugbabi Olukunle that this has had to happen. My thoughts are with you.
21:50 June 25, 2012 by Roffe
Sweden....bunch of racists farts.
21:55 June 25, 2012 by G Kin
Never trust the smiling face of a Swede. Very pretentious but racist at the core.

So sad and my thoughts are with this family.
22:03 June 25, 2012 by johan rebel
When my lily-white mother died last year, it took the ambulance about one hour, even though it was a clear-cut CPR case.
22:36 June 25, 2012 by Children Of Adam
They should have taken a Taxi to Hospital, do not ever trust the Ambulance services, if you are sick and if the operator asks silly questions then act yourself than waiting for them.

In the Asian country people take taxi to hospital and I know many babies are born in Taxi. Do not always blame the police or Sos for our mistake.
22:39 June 25, 2012 by theibmsstate
US and UK have best health care in the world.in sweden hospital in emergency ward patient has to wait.

@ G Kin i agree with you 100%.

Sweden must remember 1980 when they did not have money to buy food. SAAB and VOLVO has been sold now they have nothing,now they are surviving on TAX money.
22:52 June 25, 2012 by just a question
Ask your family, neighboors for help in these emergency situations. Don't call the ambulance. Start trusting the people that sorrounds you and stop trusting in this useless heartless state.
22:59 June 25, 2012 by StockholmSam
Privatization strikes again.
23:09 June 25, 2012 by RobinHood
@ Stockholm Sam

Shares in SOS Alarm are owned exclusively by the health authorities it serves; its owners are also its customers; its customers are also its owners. Do you understand now?
23:21 June 25, 2012 by jostein
G Kin

So, what are you doing here? Go home?
23:37 June 25, 2012 by Smartone
Sadly,here people needs lots of ethical and medical training before they jump into the health care departments! Paramedics should treat everyone regardless of skin color. They must not focus on who is dying black, white or pale skinned rather they should focus on the fact that because of their intentional and unintentional carelessness 'Someone' lost his/her life.

@ Jostein: Don't you think there should be revolutionary changes made in the health care system to avoid such severe incidents?

If you can't feel the pain of someone at least try to show respect rather they being mean and rude!!!!!!!
23:39 June 25, 2012 by matona1
Life is full of up and down,the tommy will grow soon and you will a baby crying in your appartment .wipe your tears and embrace your wife,nothing we can do than talking.stay cool Olorun aduro tiyin
23:39 June 25, 2012 by alecLoTh
I know Swedes who told of an ambulance taking 2 hours to reach them, but they were in the countryside, but still.....Then they got there and didnt have supplies for that particular ailment even though it was mentioned on the call what was needed.
00:29 June 26, 2012 by G Kin
@jostein.

Yes, I will go home but there are Swedes even in my home country as well.

SWEDES LIVE IN MY COUNTRY AS WELL; OK?. Do not talk as though Swedes never go anywhere. And by the way I PAY TAXES HERE.
00:41 June 26, 2012 by Pojken
It's so sad that people jump to this conclusion so quickly. I just asked my boyfriend, who is a doctor, if this were truly possible - that they would ask someone about their skin color. He said yes. I was shocked, but then he went on to say that if a person's skin is blue, there could be a circulation issue.

To me, that makes more sense. It seems more likely than racism, it was a communication problem. So please, stop acting like a freaking mob that just wants to riot instead of trying to understand both sides.

Still, it's sad that it took that long to get to her and that she lost her baby in the process.
00:52 June 26, 2012 by krrodman
Everybody here is missing the point.....

There are two ways of managing ambulance services. The first way is to send ambulance for every single call - No Questions Asked. This approach captures every person in need of emergency care as well as countless patients who are not in need of emergency care. This approach, needless to say, costs gobs and gobs of money.

The alternative approach is to attempt, over the phone, to decide who is really really in need of emergency care. Costs are contained, but every once in a while a critically ill patient will be left at home to fend for themselves because the SOS nurse fails to make a proper diagnosis. It is unrealistic to believe that a nurse can make the correct diagnosis over the telephone 100% of the time.

People, this is just about the Swedish approach to health care. Nothing more, nothing less. Sweden is unwilling to commit the resources to provide unlimited emergency care. The inevitable result is that every so often a tragedy will occur.

I promise you that there is a health care bureaucrat in Stockholm who has done a cost-benefit analysis on this very subject and has decided that it is not worth the extra 200 million Kroner every year to save the 100 lives that are lost due to poor emergency care.
01:08 June 26, 2012 by godnatt
Socialized medicine (Sweden) = rationing.

Private Medicine (US) = expensive, lots of uninsured people.

There's no such thing as a free lunch...anywhere. Even in Sweden (unless you're a "refugee").

Take your pick. You'll all find reasons to complain about both systems anyway.
01:33 June 26, 2012 by Rational Ignorant
@ krrodman

I see your argument about trying to save some money for tax payers by stringently screening whether paramedics should be dispatched. For a country collecting a very huge amount of tax money, I do not think that SOS should be run as a corporation.

For me one life lost is one too many and I guess some of the headlines regarding SOS so far do warrant a very good scrutiny to say the least.

My thoughts goes to the victims.
03:01 June 26, 2012 by Eric1
Racism or Socialized Medical "care"?
03:42 June 26, 2012 by Gardian
If there is a racists in Sweden, The answer is yes, How many , A lot , But lets be realistic here ,

Read the Swedish history and you will understand where these racists groups are coming from, Most of them are from very poor uneducated families , while others are the survival of the famine effected families. So either they are thinking these immigrants will left them poor and back them to the famine era , or they are simply born and raised in the streets .!!

My massage to the immigrants is be united build yourself ,contribute positively, be a good Swedish and remember a Swedish men or women allowed you to be here and to became one of them so be also grateful.

Very soon Sweden will became a real multicultural societies. !!

But if you keep just complaining about same one called u black , so what you are of course you are black and u will be , self confident people , do not play a victim role always , otherwise u will be .

i am one of those who allowed u to came here so either became one of us or very soon SDP will takeover and force u to leave,
04:05 June 26, 2012 by Svensksmith
Posts #20 and 21 have the ring of truth about them, but some will not see it this way. They only see what they want to.
04:33 June 26, 2012 by Rizwanpk
first, i am sad to read about that news. ambulance service is made for emergency situations. if it can not perform in that situation or not useful in such situations then what is the purpose of ambulance. 2.5 hrs are not less time and not acceptable in any situation. even in less developed countries ambulances can reach less then 2.5 hr and this is Sweden so called well developed country. i don't find any logical reason to ask for skin color even i know much about medical and i have lot of friends and family members who are doctors but still no specific reason i found. i have experience of calling emergency services 1122 twice, they didn't asked any thing like that nor they get late. overall Swedish medical services are very bad and time consuming.

second and most shocking part of that news is reactions and comments from different people including Swedish too. i was not expecting that any one defend it. it is simply failure of service and stupid way of inquiry. i have doubt about their mental health because no one human being can behave like that. its not some thing that people don't know or they don't have in their own countries so they can guess how a good service should perform. using other sources and not doing trust is not the solution of problem. and about comment that staff is on midsummer vacations i can only say that probably you don't know about working or health service industry. and if it is due to that reason that in-charge of ambulance service is also responsible for that failure.they must have enough staff to perform normally.

that is one of the bad things in Sweden, they never accept their mistake. they can give hundred or thousand arguments and explanations but they will not accept that they were wrong. at least its my experience in Sweden. racism behind smile is also one thing that any one can feel.
05:18 June 26, 2012 by Bumblebeetuna
I bet the SOS alarm handler was asking a series of normal questions that got confused with Rasism. I bet he or she asked what color the babies skin was in reference to blood. As in ,"Black and Blue", or ,Pale "White." Which caused the pregnant woman to get stressed and frustrated. Leading to an all around misunderstanding. I know it doesn't explain the 2½ hours.

I look forward to hearing if it was actually 2½ hours and what actually was said during 112 call.
06:34 June 26, 2012 by prince T
2 1/2 hours wait is crazy. I think in you UK, it must never be more than 30 minutes. what can of rubbish questions are they asking a woman in labour. THIS IS A JOKE OF A COUNTRY
06:36 June 26, 2012 by hackie
#9 is right...

What a big loss. My thoughts are with you.
06:48 June 26, 2012 by kzjh72
Some food for thoughts: "Never trust the smiling face of a ".

Does it depend of what nationality that is inserted if this is a racist comment or is it always racism to generalise like this?
06:53 June 26, 2012 by Da Goat
A better question is to ask if they are active Tax payers ..... Babies normally don't yet pay tax!
07:03 June 26, 2012 by prince T
the husband of the lady is a construction site worker. even if he is not, is that a good reason to murder their child. this means he is paying higher tax.

the ethos of medical profession is to save lives, irrespective of who they are. even your enemies. ATTEMPTING TO JUSTIFY THIS WICKED ACT IS A MAJOR SIGN OF SICKNESS. It will no longer be racism but will be given another name. I have said IT before that our men are like thier counterparts in the eastern european countries, they only difference is that our men have no balls.
07:28 June 26, 2012 by Kevin Harris
Anyone coming to Sweden please remember that in Sweden, the walking wounded are expected to make their own way to hospital - if they can. Walking wounded includes children with broken arms and mothers having babies. Many visitors seem confused by this policy, Why? It seems perfectly clear to me.

In Stockholm there is an excellent taxi service that will have a fast taxi at your door within minutes of calling for one. Hospitals are plentiful, you are never more than ten minutes fast drive away from any emergency room.

Visitors to Sweden, really should learn the rules.
07:29 June 26, 2012 by skogsbo
nothing like jumping to conclusion from reading an abridged article, but there was certainly a break down in communication at some level.

Perhaps people want to google the survival stats of babies, from conception to a healthy birth, it's something like 40%, in any western country.
07:44 June 26, 2012 by UKJK
Existing family Ehimati and Olugbabi Adesuwa that provides the child with us and the Swedish people who want to practice at SOS Alarm will change, that many lives will be saved in our beautiful country Sweden. Ehimati and Olugbabi right of abode in Italia and Olugbabi has a temporary job in Sweden.

The family came to Sweden for four months ago and are members of our Central Church in Stockholm by Faith Society Universal Church of Jesus Christ (UKJK/UCJC), which has 2,500 churches and 700 000 members around the world. The family is believers then in Nigeria and was active in our church and in the central organization (UKJK). Faith community has helped the family since coming to Sweden and have trouble including finding apartments. The baby who died was the only family's hope and future. Let's grief with the family and hope with God's help will make it. Faith community (ukjk) has helped the family with the media contact and will assist in the police report and contact with the National Board and with other agencies when necessary.

More information about the family situation and whether you intend to help, you can contact us by e-mail: ukjk@eujc.org , through our direct number: 0046763131032 or through our website: www.eujc.org/ukjk.html (www.eujc.org).
07:57 June 26, 2012 by Harry®
Stories a beat-up!

When someones unconcious the skin color is asked to see if they are blue and breathing.
08:41 June 26, 2012 by Daho
Rizwanpk, #26,

2,5 hrs waiting time for the ambulance is a scandal, if true. Even if it's one hour it's still a scandal. This family lived within Stockholm city and not in a remote, isolated, place.

The "black or white" question have been explained and even the tabloid paper Aftonbladet changed the headline after that, focusing on the time instead. Every call is recorded.

I have an ambulance nurse (Stockhom) in my family and they have a target time of reaching the caller within 20 minutes after the call. If the SOS Alarm system shows that an ambulance cant reach the time target they will send a helicopter instead, for remote islands etc. A lot of the patients do not need the ambulance but that's the way it need to be, the SOS nurses should send an ambulance even if they suspect that the caller might not need it.

Some time ago there was another scandal, where an operator/nurse had not dispatched an ambulance even tough the caller called three times and was later found dead. The nurse was fired and the case of his responsibility of the persons death is now in the court system.
08:49 June 26, 2012 by karex
#33

I took a taxi to the EMERGENCY room and was turned away because "I didn't have an appointment"...

enough said.
09:04 June 26, 2012 by Frobobbles
What an outrage. To ask if someone is blue and classify that as 'The Other' and 'Sick' is just plain antismurfism!
09:29 June 26, 2012 by Kevin Harris
@karex

Perhaps the staff at the emergency room assessed your problem as unworthy of their valuable time and resources and felt you should have your treatment in the proper way instead.
09:35 June 26, 2012 by StockholmSam
@RobinHood, you dont seem to get that this was the result of a profit-driven operation that fails to invest in adequate training of its telephone operators in order to cut costs. This is not an isolated incident with SOS, as I am sure you are well aware. I am less concerned with the skin color issue as I am the 2.5 hour arrival time of the ambulance after the first phone call for help. Obviously, an ambulance was not sent after the first two calls. This was a judgement made by the telephone operator, who was apparently unqualified to perform his or her duties. Then again, a qualified and trained operator would cost SOS more money and we can't incur those costs, now can we? Do YOU understand now?
09:40 June 26, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 20 Kroddman, it's not just a beurocrat who's done this though. The majority of doctors go fully along with it. The familijeläkare are some of the worst. A lot of them treat you like an irritating insect. And I can not describe the horror when you realize that they absolutely will let you die, without a second thought. I've had nightmares for years. And then go walk around the street, see the multitudes of refugees you are forced to pay for. See the multitudes of others' children that you are forced to pay for. The royal family. The flowers provided by the city, etc. And know that your life is worthless garbage in Sweden. And no one cares. Everything else is worth more than your life. Someone else has decided. The doctors will deny you care and leave you waiting for months and years, but don't doubt that the tax letters show up promptly. I'm continually horrified that people agree to live this way. That you are bled and bled in taxes, only to be left to die. I want to scream, Wake up! People are heartless. You don't even have a fighting chance because you are not a human. You're a cost unit, and the Socialstyrelsen, FK, many (not all) doctors - all their lives will be easier when you are dead...

Prayers for this family and others as they grieve their loss... I hope they'll find some comfort from all those who are thinking of them and wishing them strength and healing...
09:47 June 26, 2012 by Daho
@StockholmSam.

No, it's not an isolated incident with SOS. Just google "Ambulance" + "waiting".

"Woman dies waiting for ambulance in Northern B.C"

"Man dies after ambulance wait"

"Woman who lives opposite hospital in two-hour ambulance wait"

"Northamptonshire pensioner's 90-minute ambulance wait"

"Ambulance waiting time failures"

lots and lots of cases.
10:38 June 26, 2012 by cogito
krrodman (#20) = voice of reason.

Do you (or anyone else) know if the paid maternity/paternity leave and child allocations come out of the healthcare budget? If so, what percentage?
10:50 June 26, 2012 by Iraniboy
Why the question itself, although irrelevant, is the main issue?! The main issue is that any layman with very limited information knows that a pregnant woman who has been bleeding needs emergency service. End of the story! It seems to be that investigation is focused on this irrelevant race question to distract the real problem!

As a friendly suggestion to anyone who needs emergency help! Call a taxi and go the emergency room yourself! I saw someone said turned away! Don't believe this! . Nobody is turned away. You will be examined in the emergency room and we be classified based on your actual emergency situation. If you really don't need emergency help you will be put at the end of the queue!
11:34 June 26, 2012 by libertarianism
I was turned away from the emergency room by a nurse. I was never allowed to see a doctor. I went to another dept of the hospital, balling my eyes out in horrible pain and horror of being denied help. Until Sweden, I had never heard of anyone being denied emergency care. Never.

(It's horribly shocking to realize that no one is going to help you. I think we all generally believe that when an emergency happens, a good samaritan will try to help, that human nature is to help people, even strangers, when they are hurt. That even if you didn't know how to help someone, you would find help and/or hold the person's hand to comfort them. For the most part, that doesn't exist in at least some places here.)

Eventually, a doctor in a non-emergency dept. saw me. Did very little. Took blood, went on vacation. No one had a clue what was going on. Had to leave the country for medical care. When I came back, they were all still clueless... I've never witnessed such ineptitude.

Some people are good. Some will try to help. But I'm afraid the good ones are overwhelmed by budget restrictions and idiot co-workers who can never be fired...

It seems that different läns have better/worse services as well. I'm sure it's beyond stressful for the doctors and nurses who truly care... I'm always thankful for the good ones.
11:43 June 26, 2012 by cogito
libertarianism, I have heard similar stories to yours. And even when Emergency does not turn you away, it is not unusual to wait 9-12 hours to see a doctor.

It is scandalous that with the high taxes we pay, Sweden is incapable of providing ambulance service.
11:54 June 26, 2012 by krrodman
@Libertarianism

I agree with much of what you say. In fact we are saying the same thing in a slightly different way. Health care is no different than many other industries.

Let's look at the airline industry. The airline industry looses millions of suitcases every year. It infuriates passengers and costs the airlines millions and millions of dollars. Guess what?? The airlines could easily eliminate the problem. But, they won't fix the problem because it would cost gazillions of dollars to do so in additional manpower, infrastructure and process changes. The airline industry has made a business decision to allow for a certain percentage of lost suitcases.

Now do this. In the paragraph above, every time you see the words "airline industry," put in the words "SOS Ambulance Service" and every time you see the word "suitcase," insert the word "patient." SOS can make the system better. Anyone could make the system better. But, at what cost? It is easy to criticize them because they are "for profit," but they are working within a budget created by the Swedish government.

I would bet that SOS makes the correct decision on an emergency call more than 95% of the time. It is easy to tell SOS, "Just send more ambulances!" But, are there more ambulances to send? Are there enough emergency room doctors and nurses to handle more patients? Are there more hospital beds to accommodate the additional patients? How much would it cost to improve the entire system? And so it goes. Like the airline industry, with lost luggage, a decision has been made to work within a specified budget and accept the inevitable losses.

Health care on a budget - Sounds cold?? It is cold.
12:25 June 26, 2012 by Kemi
With the reputation of the emergency response, I would have just called a taxi in the first place. Childbirth is not necessarily a medical emergency, there's not much they could do on the ambulance, the key is to get to the hospital quickly.
12:52 June 26, 2012 by karex
@Kevin Harris I was suffering an acute crisis of thrombosis and all the vessels in my body were expanded to the point of almost bursting. The pain was unbearable. If one had burst I probably would have died on the spot. The only way to get proper attention in an emergency is to show up with a major artery spurting blood and dirtying all their floors. Heart attack patients many times receive the same type of non-care when they arrive at the emergency room and die waiting for treatment because they "didn't book an appointment".
12:56 June 26, 2012 by escalation666
Kemi.. it was a premature birth she was seven months pregnant, struck by excruciating abdominal pain. I would say this was not your normal childbirth. I disagree with the statement there is not much they could do on an ambulance, unless your ambulance tech's are not trained for such emergencies? While a taxi can get non LIFE threatening emergencies to your local hospital, In a Life threatening situation It cannot speed through a traffic jam or accidents on the highway since it is not equipped with sirens to deal with such issues.
13:06 June 26, 2012 by karex
@ Iraniboy - it's not very polite of you to call someone you never met a liar. It is not something I heard about and am recounting, this was personal experience. If I were to tell a story that happened to someone else I could mention my Swedish friend who drove his wife who was suffering a heart attack to the emergency room. They made her wait several hours before anyone would even bother to evaluate her - she died in the waiting room clutching her husband without having even received an evaluation, much less treatment.
13:39 June 26, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 48, "...are there more ambulances to send? Are there enough emergency room doctors and nurses to handle more patients? Are there more hospital beds to accommodate the additional patients?"

There was something recently about a small northern town which just lost its ambulance service. The ambulance itself was to be sold on blocket, and three medics lost their jobs. And just off the top of my head, I recall other emergency rooms have closed completely or have been partially shut down through reduced hours and/or reduced operating rooms. Also stumbled across something from a couple of years ago which said that Sweden had half the hospital beds of other OECD countries. And wait times were often linked to a shortage of specialist nurses, etc. So, everything mentioned was spot on.

We need serious journalists to critically evaluate what's happened/happening. We get stories here and there, but I haven't seen a long piece that puts all these patterns together. Perhaps one exists though?

For anyone interested, I bookmarked www.resurs.ning.com sometime back. Haven't looked at it in some time but perhaps it's a good place for those who want to help change the system or at least be more aware of the dangers. I believe there's also a sjuk-something political party now as well.
13:51 June 26, 2012 by robban70226
Never trust the smiling face of a Swede. Very pretentious but racist at the core.
14:28 June 26, 2012 by theibmsstate
@robban70226

200% agree with you.
15:28 June 26, 2012 by godnatt
@robban @ibmstate

Sounds like a pair of one way tickets back to whatever dirty scum holes you crawled here from is the best solution.

Hej då!
20:56 June 26, 2012 by cogito
@libertariansism (53)

Your are correct. There was a report, quickly buried, that Sweden has only half the number of hospital beds (for population) than other OECD countries.

Don't count on Swedish journalists to do the legwork necessary to expose the scandals in Swedish healthcare. Though there was one, Maciej Zaremba, who did a bang-up investigative reporting job in DN on the waste and (institutionalized) corruption in the the landstingets (the county healthcare authorities) a few years ago.
00:52 June 27, 2012 by esvahnt
this is again going on the wrong way

the discussion was on the efficiency of the ambulance service or the race ?

these are two different topics

on my opinion ambulances are late all over europe and the entire world

and the race of the patient of course makes a difference in a country so race oriented like sweden

but i think we must acknowledge that this feeling of different by race is inherent to the human being itself

look for example you dont see an middle east person demanding a black person to not be racist to them

they will allways wont that from a more european like than themselves

that is the instinct to whiten up ever and ever

it exist in asians africans indians and in every non european
06:11 June 27, 2012 by prince T
@ kemi is definately not a woman, that is he could talk in that manner and I dont think he has a child. his comment shows that he has never seen a woman giving birth before. I will strongly advise @ kemi to keep quiet if he has nothing good to say.

if the couple involved were not immigrants, comments on this forum would have taken another turn. we would have been asking for the ethnicity of the telephone person.
08:00 June 27, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 57, cogito, Thanks for the Zaremba reference.
09:11 June 27, 2012 by Iraniboy
@karex

I didn't call someone liar! I'm totally aware that the system doesn't function properly. What I said is that you will not be turned away. In worst case you have to wait very long.
10:18 June 27, 2012 by gherhardt
This was a sensationalist headline designed to outrage and to push readers to discuss and argue. The issue here is that Ehimati Adesuwa is part of a vulnerable group (immigrants), so this tragic event is deemed suspicious by all who feel insulted or who feel they must protect anyone from a vulnerable group. But I'm not sure that what occurred here was racially motivated.

I've travelled extensively, and it is true that health services are superior in America and in the U.K., but what happened at S.O.S. Alarm has happened many times in America and the U.K. (as wells as many other countries, I'm sure); and it has nothing to do with the victim's skin tone. It is simply a "fact of life" that all health systems are operated by human beings, and human beings will surely make mistakes... even tragic ones. The facts here lead me to believe that this tragedy was caused by human error.

It is quite sad that a human life was lost as a result of another human's error, and it is a tragedy that Ms Adesuwa and Mr Olukunle lost their baby. But these tragedies take place everywhere, regardless of human prejudices or quality of care.
12:52 June 27, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 61, it's not true that you just have to wait. The emergency rooms turn people away and refuse treatment. They can and do deny people help. (Regular doctors do this as well.) And the authorities could care less. Doctors here are pretty much untouchable. They exist as a seperate class. Complain all you want. Write to a gazillion people. No one cares. It's not a nice feeling.

And by comparison, my dog has always gotten prompt professional care. Blood tests and results, x-rays, you name it, done lightening fast - same day! Even with pet emergencies. Why does my dog have better health care than me? That's just insane.
15:41 June 27, 2012 by rise
If in need of an ambulance call it while you are unconscious - otherwise you'll just be kept waiting. ;) Regardless of brown, purple, green or whatever skin color. :P
19:18 June 27, 2012 by Thompsuleme
It is thanks to stories like these that I really got prepared for my wifes eventual delivery, after reading about these SOS fiascos I fixed 3 closeby taxi firms for emergency dispact. Behold my wife went into labour a week early and we had a taxi waiting within 15 minutes after my call. A long drive to Söder Sjukhuset from Sigtuna. Lesson is : If you have a situation that is liable to demand emergency transportation, try to have a back up plan, a neighbour, family member anything. A case of life and death is too sever to risk with an unreliable SOS system. My condolence to the bereaved.

p.s

I am black and a Nigerian in case you are wondering !
13:58 June 28, 2012 by pjtaipale
"Why does my dog have better health care than me? That's just insane. "

Because you pay your dog's health care, but your dog doesn't pay your health care.
09:35 June 29, 2012 by kzjh72
Is this a racist comment: " Never trust a s miling face of an African". ?
23:31 October 15, 2012 by feathernoodle
It's true that health care in the U.S. is expensive. It's also true that there are many who are uninsured. But the big difference is that in the U.S., everyone actually GETS healthcare when they need it. If you show up at the ER, you will be treated, insured or not. If you are poor, you don't even get a bill, the taxpayers cover it for you. Also, when someone calls 911, our emergency number, if you live in a city, there will be an emergency squad with at least 2 highly trained paramedics in your driveway in under 10 minutes or less. Even if you live further out, there are often small stations in the country that have highly trained "volunteer" paramedics, meaning they usually have another job but are permitted to leave it in the case of any emergency call-out that a regular fire department can't handle. They always come, even if you don't say a word into the phone, they will show up (trust me, almost everyone has had a child play with the phone and accidentally dial 911 without their parents knowing until the doorbell rings and they find two police officers, a fire truck and an emergency squad (they usually travel together, all three of them).

I'd rather have the higher cost and get the #1 best health care in the world than pay higher taxes, have it rationed so everyone is "covered". "Free" health care doesn't do much good if you only can attract 2nd rate doctors and medical personnel and have substandard care. Even 100 people dying because of a "nurse" who has not gone to medical school or had paramedic training or good dispatcher training is 100 people too many, especially in a country as small as Sweden.
18:03 March 19, 2013 by janeway
Emil Linnell, 23, was white, Swedish and died because a nurse at SOS denied him an ambulance. I've heard the tape from SOS and it's disgusting to listen to. Nothing to do with racism. Everything to do with saving money by hiring inadequately trained nurses!
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