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Doctors leave Sweden for Norway’s work hours

Doctors leave Sweden for Norway’s work hours

Published: 30 Oct 2012 08:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Oct 2012 08:40 GMT+01:00

A small Norwegian country hospital has almost only Swedish doctors on its staff. Most have come from the same clinic in Sweden, seeking more attractive employment terms in Norway.

“Of course it is tragic to lose doctors. First you hear of one that is leaving and then another. It is very sad,” said county council head for Dalarna, Karin Stikå Mjöberg to national broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR).

In total, 14 doctors, most of which where specialists, left the hospital in Mora, central Sweden, to take up employment across the border in Tynset, Norway.

According to the broadcaster, the exodus caused the very existence of the Mora hospital to be threatened at one point, but somehow they managed to pull through.

“The remaining doctors have had to work much harder," said Stikå Mjöberg to SR.

Tynset is one of Norway’s smallest hospitals and 18 out of the clinic’s 20 doctors are Swedish. According to the head of the hospital, Stein Tronsmoen, the hospital could not manage without the Swedes:

"We would find it difficult to staff the hospital," he told the broadcaster.

In Norway, there is a lack of specialized physicians but Tynset hospital seems to have no problem recruiting Swedes.

According to SR it is the working hours of two weeks on followed by four weeks off, at the same pay as a full-time position, that are attracting the Swedes to Norway.

Tronsmoen has no regrets when it comes to pinching the Swedish specialists from across the border:

“In Europe there is a free labour market. And we are in it through the EEA agreement. That’s just the way it is,” he told SR.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

00:00 October 31, 2012 by Just_Kidding
That is fine, just keep training more young Swedes as doctors. Exporting doctors is one solution to the unemployment problem.
10:53 October 31, 2012 by Puffin
The terms that the doctors were offered in Norway were fantastic - same salary as in Sweden for 2 weeks work - why wouldn't they move
14:18 October 31, 2012 by hackie
"According to SR it is the working hours of two weeks on followed by four weeks off, at the same pay as a full-time position, that are attracting the Swedes to Norway. "

Is that for real? I wanna become a doctor. I don't think its too late. Haha
13:49 November 2, 2012 by Borilla
I don't quite see what is so attractive about the working hours since, according to stories in The Local, Swedish doctors are free to leave for lunch in the middle of surgery .
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