• Sweden's news in English
 

Agency to cancer patient: When will you die?

Published: 26 Feb 2013 09:34 GMT+01:00

"They basically said that they aren't going to continue to give him sickness benefits because they don't have any proof that he's actually going to die soon," Julia Mjörnstedt, secretary general of cancer patient support group Ung Cancer told the Nyheter24 news website.

Mjörnstedt was contacted on Monday by the distraught 23-year-old who explained that he had been told by doctors that he had only weeks to live and thus wanted to spend his remaining time at home, rather than in hospital.

But caseworkers at Sweden's National Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) interpreted the man's discharge from hospital as a sign that his condition was improving.

"When he tried to renew his application for sickness benefits, they told him that if he can move home then he's not sick enough," Mjörnstedt told the TT news agency.

Mjörnstedt then contacted the agency on the 23-year-old's behalf to contend their decision to deny him benefits.

"Then they said that they needed written proof with a date indicating when he was going to die. It was the strangest thing I'd ever heard. No doctor can write something like that," she told TT.

Following a flurry of media attention on the matter, the agency later apologized, calling the matter a "misunderstanding".

"We are terribly sorry about what happened, but we can't say more out of respect for the family's privacy," Cecilia Udin, the agency's national insurance coordinator, told Nyheter24.

While the agency has since reversed its decision and agreed to grant the 23-year-old sickness benefits, Mjörnstedt remains critical of Sweden's social insurance system which she claims "doesn't work".

"To continually use 'misunderstanding' as a solution simply hides the symptoms," she said in a statement, adding that attempting to punish a single caseworker or office is akin to "putting a Hello Kitty bandage on a deeply infected wound".

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

10:41 February 26, 2013 by ljonesdontplay
They asked for this proof because they are strapped for cash. Times are tight. Of course, while this was all going down I was being paid by the government to be in a swedish language class with a teacher from Iraq who can't speak at all and 30 others who were in class because they were ALSO being paid and not because they care about swedish. That's just the facts. I like that I could come here to be with my girl so I got no problem but you people should know what's happening with all that tax money when you need it.
11:40 February 26, 2013 by J Jack
Julia Mjörnstedt, my hero. You said it girl!
11:40 February 26, 2013 by what would thomas paine do
"This is not a misunderstanding. FK's cosmetic, it-was-just-a-mistake policy affects thousands of lives. Not just cancer but cardiovascular disease, car accidents, work injuries, etc. The list of victims is long. FK's cynical, despicable employees treat people however they want, and they do without risk of reprisal."

"I'm so tired of agencies that can't do their job and that are just trained to follow some standardized table…"

"All of this is because of people who've fraudulently gotten benefits—those who've scammed the system. And now it affects those who really are in need of assistance…"

- Comments translated from original Swedish-language article:

http://www.metro.se/nyheter/forsakringskassan-till-svart-cancersjuk-nar-ska-du-do/EVHmby!N1GcF2JeEqh1Y/
12:17 February 26, 2013 by Mib
A simple letter from his Doctor to explain the circumstances would have been suffce, which the agency could have fixed by writing to the hospital/doctor requesting the info. But they needn't have a date of when he will die. That is both insensitive and crude.

The comment that it was a misunderstanding is political speak for that they messed up, but no-one will take resonsibility.
18:38 February 27, 2013 by cogito
Here's what's wrong with Swedish healthcare.

http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/vad-var-det-som-dodade-herr-b
Today's headlines
Norwegian cancels all flights in Scandinavia
A Norwegian flight grounded in Malmö on Tuesday. Photo: TT

Norwegian cancels all flights in Scandinavia

Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has cancelled all flights in Scandinavia on Wednesday due to the escalation of a pilots' strike, with Swedish and Danish pilots joining their Norwegian colleagues who walked out five days ago. READ  

Mamma Mia! Abba reunite as silicon dolls
The four members of Abba as silicon dolls. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Mamma Mia! Abba reunite as silicon dolls

The dream of many an Abba fan (almost) came true on Tuesday afternoon as the four members reunited at a Swedish museum – as life size silicon dolls. READ  

800 staff sent home after Norwegian strike action
A Norwegian flight grounded in Oslo on Sunday. Photo: TT

800 staff sent home after Norwegian strike action

UPDATED: Hundreds of workers could be sent home without pay as Scandinavian airline Norwegian threatens a lockout of workers if a strike affecting Swedish and Norwegian staff is not resolved by Wednesday morning. READ  

Sweden moves to scrap debated budget goal
Sweden's Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson at a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden moves to scrap debated budget goal

The Swedish government announced on Tuesday that it wants to scrap the country's budget-surplus target, aiming to axe a policy that critics consider outdated. READ  

Sweden leads the way in EU's 5G tech race
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the Mobile World Congress. Photo: Björn Ewenfeldt/TT

Sweden leads the way in EU's 5G tech race

The mobile technology race is on with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson set to team up with academics and industry partners to have 5G broadband solutions ready for Sweden by 2020 as the EU pushes for greater connectivity across the continent. READ  

Presented by Greenback
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden

Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden

If you dread filing your US expat taxes each year, you aren’t alone. But Greenback Expat Tax Services can prepare your taxes efficiently, accurately and at a fair, honest price. READ  

Opinion
Why can't refugees travel to Sweden legally?
Migrants rescued in the Pozzallo harbour, Sicily last month. Photo: TT

Why can't refugees travel to Sweden legally?

Refugees should not be forced to make dangerous journeys to Europe in order to seek asylum, argues Liberal Party MEP Cecilia Wikström, who also wants to see other EU states joining Sweden and Germany in taking in more people from war-torn nations. READ  

'Sweden is not any closer to joining Danes in Nato'
Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

'Sweden is not any closer to joining Danes in Nato'

Sweden’s new military co-operation agreement with Denmark should not be seen as a step closer to Nato membership, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist has told The Local. READ  

159 miners rescued from fire in central Sweden
Emergency services outside the mine on Tuesday morning. Photo: TT

159 miners rescued from fire in central Sweden

A fire broke out at a mine in Garpenberg in central Sweden at around 9am on Tuesday morning, with 159 people rescued by 10.30am. READ  

Just four protestors at Sweden anti-Islam rally
Four anti-Islam protestors turned up at the rally. Photo: TT

Just four protestors at Sweden anti-Islam rally

UPDATED: Counter-demonstrators dramatically outnumbered anti-Islam protesters at a Pegida rally in Linköping in southern Sweden, with reports that just four people turned up to support the right wing group, while up to 400 others rallied in support of diversity. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Accelerated for Ice Music
Dylan guitarist makes music history in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Eknäs, Nacka
Lifestyle
Madonna set for first Stockholm gig
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
Blog updates

27 February

Editor’s blog, February 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Our most read story this week got picked up by global media from Al Jazeera to..." READ »

 

18 February

The mysterious -s, part 2 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"-s expressing “each other” (reciprocal verbs) You have most likely used this form of the verbs..." READ »

 
 
 
Technology
How you could soon be charging your phone from Ikea furniture
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
Gallery
People-watching: February 27th - March 1st
Business & Money
Ten Swedish start-ups you haven't heard of (yet)
National
How could Swedes' passion for 'fika' help cut nerve disease?
National
IN PICTURES: Swedes in 'ring of peace' protest
National
Why Copenhagen attacks led a Swedish uni to cancel artist's lecture
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Super cute sloth twins charm visitors to Swedish zoo
Lifestyle
Meet Sweden's first woman chef to win a Michelin star
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: February 26th - March 5th
Accelerated for Ice Music
What is Bob Dylan's guitarist doing in northern Sweden?
Features
How well do you know Sweden's top celebrity couples?
Business & Money
Are company boards 'too white' in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: February 25th
Technology
Sweden is dubbed second most 'digital' nation in European Union
National
Why more Swedes want a sex change
National
The return of Sweden's Ace of Base
National
Why has Julian Assange's case been going on for so long?
National
'21' or 'IS'? Swedish police confuse birthday with Islamist extremism
National
Spring has sprung in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Ängelholm
National
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
National
Is Sweden home to the world's oldest living cat?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The life and career of Fredrik Reinfeldt
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why are Swedish Jews worried?
Gallery
People-watching: February 19th-22nd
National
'Racist' bird names banned in Sweden
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Nobel prize to go under hammer
National
Swede named 'Fanny' banned from getting UK loyalty card
National
Spotlight on the Swedes that could be funding Islamists
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Gallery
People-watching: February 18th
National
Is a chocolate crime wave sweeping across Sweden?
National
What we know about the Copenhagen shootings suspect
National
Danish Ambassador: 'We'll live our lives the way we always have'
National
What does this '90s pop act have to do with a former minister?
Lifestyle
How to embrace Sweden's creamy semla bun tradition
National
Did this Swedish hotel really refuse a gay couple?
National
Why are so many escalators down on Stockholm's Metro?
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsbacka
Sponsored Article
'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
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

950
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