• Sweden edition
 
'Swedish hospitals send ambulances too often'

'Swedish hospitals send ambulances too often'

Published: 04 Feb 2013 12:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

857
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