• Sweden's news in English
 

'Swedish hospitals send ambulances too often'

Published: 04 Feb 2013 12:25 GMT+01:00

There has been a 10-percent hike in ambulance call-outs in Sweden in the past three years, and it is not due to a 10-percent increase in emergency cases.

Emergency call operators are afraid of refusing a request for an ambulance and being hung out in the media if something goes wrong, wrote Eric Carlström, an ambulance nurse studying at University West.

"There's a whole bunch of patients who could have taken a taxi or other medical transport instead, while those people who are truly in need of help and need to be picked up in minutes are maybe made to wait for 40 minutes," Carlström said in a statement, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

In 2012, Sweden was hit with a number of cases where an ambulance no-show resulted in a death.

In January, a 22-year-old woman died after her request for help was denied because she was "still talking".

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

In February, a 17-year-old boy's parents were forced to drive him to hospital after no ambulance showed up, with the SOS Alarm team later blaming an error in prioritization. He died soon after.

The new report suggests that even the patients are unimpressed.

"You get irritated when you are referred by health services to go in to emergency just to spend six hours of potential sleep time so you can sit there in the glow of some aquarium," said one internet user who was cited in the report.

The study suggests that more time should be invested in training emergency call operators to ensure they feel comfortable trusting their instincts.

The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:13 February 4, 2013 by Programmeny
What's so hard for Sweden to understand? If you call for an ambulance, then an ambulance should come. The power shouldn't be in the hands of the dispatcher, ever. The dispatcher is there to take calls and send the ambulance, not to make the decision over my life because she thought my tone was "alert" so naturally, I don't need an ambulance.

This resembels a third world country in that regard. For Pete's sake, in any eastern European country, if you call for an ambulance, you get it.

Why are we paying taxes here again in Sweden if we don't get the decision over our health? Good thing we have money to organize all kinds of retarded events, but if I need an ambulance and sound calm, then I'll be denide one or sent to go by myself to the hospital.

This is a problem that needs to be stopped in Sweden. An ambulance is an ambulance and I decide if I need it or not, not the dispatcher. If it turns out that I wasted the ambulance's time and money for a really minor injury like a cut or a sore throat, then I should pay, sure, but those kind of things should be disputed AFTER making sure my life is not in danger, and not before.
13:36 February 4, 2013 by JulieLou40
Well said.
13:55 February 4, 2013 by procrustes
The answer is simple: if requested, an ambulance should ALWAYS be sent, then if proper authorities determine the service was unwarranted then the requester has to pay the cost.
15:12 February 4, 2013 by k2kats
I wholeheartedly agree. Additionally, it may help to strengthen public awareness about when an ambulance is genuinely needed.
19:16 February 4, 2013 by johan rebel
Swedish hospitals don't send ambulances.
20:59 February 4, 2013 by cogito
And if the caller has a foreign accent, how will the dispatcher/god decide?
11:09 February 5, 2013 by SimonDMontfort
My partner's mother was sent a bill for the ambulance - after she fell badly on black ice and broke her hip and arm.

Maybe SHE was one of those who should have caught a bus to the hospital...?
11:44 February 5, 2013 by Borilla
The sentiments expressed above are absolutely correct. If an ambulance is requested, send one. Don't let a layman paid to answer the phone make life and eath decisions. What has not been said is that this and attendant problems are generated by inadequate supervision and lack of organization and, most of all, "privatization". The local political bodies put the contracts for ambulance service, elder care, etc,for bids (or give them to their friends) and wash their hands of any further supervision. The contractor doesn't make money if he actually has to provide service or the trained personnel he promised, so people die. Until the governing bodies are held to account,the problem won't be solved. By the way, exactly what relevance does the so-called "report" of "an ambulance nurse studying at University West" have to the discussion other than it is his opinion?
Today's headlines
Swedish boy, 11, nets lost engagement ring
The ring found by Casper Kjellström. Photo: Private

Swedish boy, 11, nets lost engagement ring

A Swedish mum has told The Local of her 11-year-old son's joy after he was able to reunite a Swedish man with his lost engagement ring. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Sweden’s top feminist wants voting from age 16
Gudrun Schyman in Visby. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden’s top feminist wants voting from age 16

UPDATED: The co-leader of Sweden’s Feminist Initiative Party has proposed lowering the nation’s voting age in a key speech. READ  

Greece crisis
Stockholm stock market falls after Greek vote
Stockholm's stock exchange. File photo: TT

Stockholm stock market falls after Greek vote

UPDATED: Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has raised concerns about Greece’s future, while Stockholm's stock market has fallen as economic jitters are felt across Europe. READ  

Rain puts dampener on Swedish holiday period
Lightening struck early on Monday. File photo: TT

Rain puts dampener on Swedish holiday period

After one of the hottest weekends of the year in many parts of Sweden, cooler temperatures and storms are arriving in Scandinavia. READ  

My Swedish Career
‘Sweden has the best infrastructure I’ve known’
Hamed Koramyar at Sweden's political festival, Almedalen. Photo: The Local

‘Sweden has the best infrastructure I’ve known’

Hamed Khoramyar worked for household names in Iran for more than a decade, but forged a new career as an IT entrepreneur after fleeing his home country and seeking asylum in Sweden in 2010. READ  

Swedes on cusp of snail control breakthrough
Snails are enjoying a bumper year at Swedish gardeners' expense. Photo: By macrophile on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Swedes on cusp of snail control breakthrough

Since the spring, frequent rain has ensured prime conditions for one of the gardener’s biggest enemies - the snail. Swedish scientists, however, may have found the ultimate deterrent. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Eight
Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Eight

The Swedish Liberal Party tried to score some new support after a year of plummeting in the polls, with leader Jan Björklund taking centre stage on the final day of Almedalen. READ  

New Slovakia law may limit Swedish gun use
A selection of handguns unconnected to the article. Photo: Joshuashearn via Wikimedia Commons

New Slovakia law may limit Swedish gun use

Hundreds of so-called plugged guns are bought legally abroad and smuggled from Slovakia to Sweden, where they are used by criminals. But new law the eastern European nation may close this deadly loophole. READ  

Arrest warrants issued for Sunday murder
A police sign near the crime scene. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Arrest warrants issued for Sunday murder

According to police, arrest warrants have been issued for two people, suspected of the murder of a man in his 20s, who was shot to death on Lundavägen in Arlöv just north of Malmö on Sunday. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven
Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt speaking at Almedalen 2015 on Saturday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven

It's the seventh day of Almedalen, the most important week in Swedish politics, and the Left Party is running the show. The Local is live blogging the key moments. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: July 3rd-5th
National
Scary taxis lure Nordic Noir freaks to Sweden's capital
National
Oasis star calls Zlatan 'idiot'
National
Learning Swedish: different rules for expats and refugees?
Sport
IN PICTURES: Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes
Blog updates

3 July

Editor’s blog, July 3rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello from the Swedish island of Gotland! The Local’s editorial team has decamped from our Stockholm headquarters..." READ »

 

2 July

Som eller att (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! It happens quite often, that my students are confused over when to use “som” and when..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Almedalen: The Local's guide to Sweden's power players week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your July summer snaps
Sport
Sweden celebrates greatest sporting victory in decades
Gallery
People-watching: July 1st
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
National
Swede battles slug invasion
Sponsored Article
What can we learn from Swedish women's sex habits?
National
VIDEO: Is this herring tasting clip an 'insult to Sweden'?
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: New royal couple Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Features
Ten Swedish festivals to discover
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
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

3,211
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se