‘Healthcare worse for immigrant women’

Women born in countries outside Sweden suffer more complications when giving birth than Swedish women. Eva Robertson, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, says that the problem stems from discrimination in the healthcare system.

“There is a form of structural discrimination at play, whereby a patient has to fit into a certain mould in order to receive quality service and be listened to,” Robertson told Svenska Dagbladet.

The researcher argues that immigrant women in general do not receive the same quality of healthcare as their Swedish-born peers.

Her findings are based on a study of all women who had children in Sweden from 1996 to 1998. This amounted to 215,497 women in total, of whom 35,162 were born outside Sweden.

Women born in sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America were 50 percent more likely than Swedish women to experience complications during labour.

Women from Iran and the rest of Asia meanwhile ran a 30 percent higher risk of labour difficulties than women born in Sweden.

“There are not many people in the healthcare system who recognize the problem but there are plenty of foreign-born women who experience it,” Robertson told Svenska Dagbladet.