Study: Doctors too generous with sick leave

Many doctors agree to sign sick notes for patients who wish to go on sick leave despite not always believing their claims to be justified, a new study has shown.

Eight out of ten patients who want to take sick leave are helped in doing so by their doctors. In some cases, sick notes are granted even in cases where doctors fear it may be counterproductive.

“Many doctors have abdicated from their duties,” Lars Englund from the Centre for Clinical Research in Dalrna told Dagens Nyheter.

The study was based on patients’ combined visits to 63 district physicians during a two week period.

Patients given sick notes against the doctors’ better judgment stayed on the sick list for an average of 29 days.