• Sweden's news in English
 

Agency to cancer patient: When will you die?

26 Feb 2013, 09:34

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
Plea for help in hunt for Swedish woman's killer
Ida Johansson, who was found dead on a running track in Upplands Väsby. Photo: Polisen

Plea for help in hunt for Swedish woman's killer

2 hours ago

Swedish police have released a picture of the 21-year-old jogger murdered on a running track almost a month ago as her mother prepares to make a television appeal.

Swedish museum makes way for iconic train
The iconic Swiss locomotive. Photo: SBB

Swedish museum makes way for iconic train

1 hour ago

Railway buffs in Sweden are on track for a treat as a rare Swiss locomotive is set to roll into a Swedish transport museum in the coming days to celebrate a century of electric trains in the Nordic country.

The Local List
Seven bizarre Swedish academic traditions
Student life in Lund, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/SCANPIX

Seven bizarre Swedish academic traditions

2 hours ago

As thousands of students flock to Sweden's university towns for the start of the semester, The Local guides you through the top academic traditions you need to know about.

Swede wakes up with Justin Bieber on buttock
The Swede says he can't remember how he ended up with Bieber's name on his backside. Photo: stamminen/Instagram

Swede wakes up with Justin Bieber on buttock

17 hours ago

A man in central Sweden has more reason than most to regret a drunken night out - after waking up with Justin Bieber's name on his backside.

Video
Video of Swedish longboarder goes viral
Ishtar Tussilago taking a tight corner in the Norwegian mountains. Photo: Screengrab

Video of Swedish longboarder goes viral

17 hours ago

Stunning footage of Swedish longboarder Ishtar Bäcklund and fellow riders skating down the Norwegian mountains has gone viral, pulling in over 190,000 views on Vimeo.

Polish football hooligans sentenced in Sweden
The match between IFK Gothenburg and Slask Wroclaw on July 23rd. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Polish football hooligans sentenced in Sweden

18 hours ago

A Swedish court sentenced five Polish football fans to jail terms of two and three months on Tuesday after violence following a match between IFK Gothenburg and Slask Wroclaw.

'Lonely' billionaire: I was having a bad day
Markus Persson created the hit game Minecraft. Photo: TT

'Lonely' billionaire: I was having a bad day

19 hours ago

A Swedish gaming billionaire who made global headlines after complaining of loneliness, has apologized to people with "real problems".

Swedish party in U-turn on Nato membership
Centre Party leader Annie Lööf. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish party in U-turn on Nato membership

22 hours ago

Sweden's opposition is moving towards a unified front on Nato membership after Centre party bosses announced they would advocate joining the defence alliance on Tuesday.

Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post
Joakim Rosenqvist was inspired to write the post after bumping into a scared woman while out jogging. File photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post

23 hours ago

A Swedish man has been praised for his viral Facebook post about female safety after meeting a terrified woman while out jogging.

Heavy rain warning for western parts of Sweden
Stockholmers carrying umbrellas this summer. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Heavy rain warning for western parts of Sweden

1 day ago

Jump into your boots and get the umbrella out. Forecasters issued a heavy rain warning on Tuesday as it looked like autumn was on its way to Sweden – just in time to welcome the start of September.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
VIDEO: Swedish longboarder builds dreams with viral film
National
Swedish billionaire blasted for 'lonely' Twitter rant
Gallery
Property of the week: Stuverum, Västervik
National
Swedish ship rescues 5,295 refugees
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Gallery
Property of the week: Löderup, Ystad
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
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

3,165
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