• Sweden edition
 

Swede forced to fake stroke to get x-ray

Published: 03 Oct 2012 15:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2012 15:17 GMT+02:00

“I have filed a report so that this won’t happen to others,” Mats Johannesson told The Local.

Johannesson, who is in his forties and was working as a truck driver, fell ill some five years ago. After seeking medical help from his local clinic in Mellerud he was referred to the nearest hospital, the Norra Älvsborgs lasarett, but was sent home again with some painkillers.

“I asked for an x-ray but they didn’t think there was enough reason to carry one out,” Johannsesson said.

This continued on and off for the next five years. By last summer, Johannesson had gone to hospital by ambulance 47 times. Every time he was sent back by taxi – and without the x-ray he asked for.

“I have lived with this for so long now,” Johannesson said.

On the May 20th this year, Johannesson collapsed again but was sent home once more without an x-ray. When it happened again on July 19th Johannesson was determined not to be brushed off.

“I thought to myself ‘ I am going to get a scan this time’,” Johannesson told The Local.

When the doctor came to check him over, Johannesson therefore pretended to have had a stroke, making himself go limp on the left side of his body . When the attending physician asked him to touch his nose with his fingertips, he missed on purpose.

“And then they got worried and I was taken for an emergency x-ray straight away,” Johannesson said.

When they had performed the scan the doctor told him that there was no haemorrhage but that they had detected a tumour in his brain. He is now getting anti-retroviral drugs and is set to be admitted to hospital in two weeks.

Johannesson has now reported the hospital to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen). The hospital is also conducting an internal investigation and mulling reporting itself in accordance with Lex Maria regulations on reporting instances of patient harm in the Swedish healthcare system.

“I am frankly furious with what has happened. I could have been spared all these years’ suffering. When I was put on the drugs the symptoms disappeared over night,” Johannesson told The Local.

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:12 October 3, 2012 by lena_sverige
Unfortunately that is all about Swedish free medicine: waiting for months for an appointment and painkillers only until you're literally dying...
16:34 October 3, 2012 by micvau
I feel for this guy, i'm also currently in a similar situation where i have been having sever headaches on a regular basis. I've just been to the local health centre in Åre only to be given a number to their local Physiotherapest. The medical system here seems to lack professionamism and basic human understanding. It's not a nice feeling to feel that when a person has a serious medical issue and tries to seek medical help to be just turned away like it doesn't matter.

The most worrying thing is that these doctors seem to be to be allowed keep their positions. Victims should be allowed to seek compensation when put through something because of incompentant personal.
17:45 October 3, 2012 by voiceofreason
Did he say "Anti-retroviral drugs",

This guy has got AIDS.

I hope he gets a second scan before he endures an unwarranted surgery.
22:15 October 3, 2012 by Tom Anderson Thor
Voice of reason, please be quiet about things you know nothing about, accusing people of having AIDS.

"Recent studies have shown that inhibitors of the HIV aspartyl protease, which are widely used in HAART, have direct anti-angiogenic and antitumour effects that are unrelated to their antiviral activity. So these drugs might be used to treat cancer in patients who are not infected with HIV."

http://www.nature.com/nrc/journal/v4/n11/abs/nrc1479.html
22:26 October 3, 2012 by Flutterbye
And I thought the NHS was bad.
11:14 October 4, 2012 by EP
Another week another scary store of Swedish healthcare.
23:40 October 4, 2012 by voiceofreason
@Tom Anderson Thor

I might not be a doctor but your article gives me the impression that this is an experiment at its best.
06:06 October 6, 2012 by Abu Abdur Raheem
I think Sweden being a first world country does not have 1st world class medical system. The whole Swedish health system needs revamp. I really feel for this guy for getting such a lousy treatment from lousy medical staff.Hope he gets better soon.
22:54 October 15, 2012 by feathernoodle
I have a Swedish friend who tells me constantly how great the healthcare is in Sweden but I keep reading stories like these and wonder how much of that is true. My friend has a chronic illness that isn't very well managed (in my opinion), when they complain about pain or other symptoms they are having, they act like it is normal when I'm thinking "that would never happen to you in the U.S.". I know it's expensive here, but you don't have to fake a stroke to get an x-ray, find out you have a brain tumor then be SCHEDULED to be admitted to the hospital two weeks later, you would be admitted and treated immediately and be well on your way to getting better. Also, my friend recently mentioned buying private health insurance AND something about being a patient in a hospital recently, referring to "room mates" - when you're a patient in a hospital in Sweden, do you share a room with people?!
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

999
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN