Bowl of Misch

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Healthcare in Sweden (Point of reference: Stockholm)

November 12th, 2009 by misch

Disclaimer:  The information presented below has been gathered from personal (anecdotal) experience and a word of mouth.  Individual experiences always vary.  If you live in Stockholm and have a really great vårdcentral/doctor/specialist, please do send me his/her contact information.

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It indeed is very nice to pay just 120 SEK (ca $15) every time one goes to a doctor.*  It’s swell.  But.  Yes, there is a but.  As a matter of fact, there are a few buts.

1. Unless it is an acute problem, expect fairly long waiting time (can be up to three weeks if you don’t insist on an earlier date, but of course, it also depends on the vårdcentralen and the time of the year).

2. I’ve heard this from many people: once in the doctor’s office, do not, I repeat, do not present your own diagnosis of the problem.  Just present the symptoms.  Supposedly, doctors here are allergic to patients self-diagnosing and won’t take it seriously and might even categorize you as a hypochondriac and completely dismiss all that you’re saying.

3. If the doctor says he/she will call you, do not rely on that.  Prepare to be the one in charge.  You will have to call them and you will have to be persistent.  It’s the same with test results.  This has happened to me twice already.

4.  I have no idea, how this is in other countries as I’ve only lived in two others and during those times was never really sick, but it seems that the first diagnosis you get here is usually wrong.  From my own and others’ experiences.

5.  In order to pay less and deal with a shorter waiting time to see a specialist (dermatologist, urologist, etc.) go through vårdcentralen.  If you go straight to a specialist, be prepared to pay big bucks and wait a looong looong time reaching up to a few months.

I will add more points as I gather information through my personal and others’ experiences.  Feel free to share them with me as well.

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* Only citizens and people with ‘real’ personnummer, for example: 880808 – 1111 (year, month, day and four extra digits) that one gets by applying for Swedish residency at immigrationsverket and registering with skatteverket pay 120SEK per visit.  Others pay in thousands of SEK.  People holding the EU health care card also pay only 120SEK.

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From Hotlanta to Ssstockholmmm…

November 12th, 2009 by misch

My Swedish journey has started on the 17th of December 2008.  It was an extremely happy day as it concluded months of preparation:  selling/discarding/donating circa 80% of what I ever owned, packing the rest, etc.  All the while missing the main cause of all this – my beloved boyfriend.

Yes, I am one of those that moved thousands of miles away into a colder and harsher climate to be with the one they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with.

Looking back about a year later, I am still very happy I had made the move and now can spend all days and nights side by side with the love of my life.  However, there are some things I wish I’d done differently to prepare myself for the huge paradigm shift that I encountered by moving here.  That said, a year later, I still don’t have the step-by-step guide to do so.

All the advice I have is: open your mind, relax, and enjoy the ride as long as you can because at some point the short days, long nights, ever present cold and strong wind will getcha.

So, what is the point of this blog?  I’d like to share with others the experience of leaving a country and moving to another without so much as skipping a beat … I’d like to share my opinions,  insights, information, and experience I gather(ed) through this journey.

I hope it will be of some value to others or at least enjoyable for some.

Misch

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