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Swedish doctor found drunk on the job

Stuart Roberts · 1 Sep 2009, 12:46

Published: 01 Sep 2009 12:46 GMT+02:00

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On the afternoon and evening of October 18th last year, the doctor was on duty at the Norrlands University Hospital when his behaviour indicated he was affected by alcohol, according to a report made by the Swedish Health and Welfare Board (Socialstyrelsen) following an investigation.

The Board’s investigation revealed that the doctor had been drinking during the afternoon and evening on the day before he reported to work drunk, and had continued drinking the following morning.

During the doctor’s shift, which began that afternoon, patients and staff who came in contact with the doctor reported that he smelled of alcohol and was behaving strangely. The medical duty doctor removed the doctor from his shift, and took his blood reading at 7 pm, more than seven hours after the doctor's last drink. The tests showed that the doctor had a residual blood alcohol content of 0.026.

The Board’s investigation found that the doctor had a history of excess alcohol consumption, and his drinking had increased since the beginning of 2000. While the Board recognised that the doctor had been performing his duties adequately, both before and after the incident, the Board considered the doctor to have an alcohol dependency, since he had often drunk so much that he occasionally experienced ‘blackouts’ and had developed alcohol cravings.

The Board expressed its concern that there was a significant risk of the doctor suffering a lapse in his behaviour, given his long history of alcohol dependency, therefore recommended a three-year probationary period, during which time the doctor should also be treated for his alcohol dependency. The Medical Responsibility Board (HSAN) will make the final decision on the doctor’s penalty.

Story continues below…

Stuart Roberts (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:07 September 1, 2009 by skane refugee
psychologically speaking ... would have thought that having a permanently high blood alcohol level is the only way to survive life in Umeå ...

... 'just what the doctor ordered' (at the bar) ...
15:02 September 1, 2009 by NJGirl
Probation only! They will allow him to work? Is Sweden for real? Or is it a bad dream?
15:08 September 1, 2009 by Cosme Fulanito
give him a break.... who hasn't arrive drunk to work :P

Everybody make mistakes
15:34 September 1, 2009 by peropaco
@Cosme, you have a point, and ideotic one but a point nevertheless. I doubt many of us go to work drunk and and prescribe the wrong medicine
16:09 September 1, 2009 by Omidn
Well, well, well....another case of Swedish Dr!!!!! I really don't know what to say. Heath authority should do more to prevent these things happening. I don't want to get sick in Sweden :).
16:15 September 1, 2009 by pacfactor
Under heavy influnce. 0.026 ??? Dont think so.

That is nothing!!

In Oz you can legally drive at up to 0.05 and think its even higher in the states?

After living in the UK for 5yrs and regually being draged (kicking and screaming of course) to the pub for lunch by my boss i dont see what all the fuss is about?
16:31 September 1, 2009 by this_aint_sparta
And this Dr.'s prescription is valid @ systembolaget rather then apoteket.

I wonder how i will feeel if i a go to a doctor, sick and he starts spttin in my face while talking and smell sh!t.

Lets see how this now is someway connected to religion or race. Common guyz give it a try, read it again you might find some clue how the doctor can be assigned a race or a religion.
17:23 September 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
pacfactor, that 0.026 was 7 HOURS after his last drink (when he arrived at work). It is safe to say when he started he was trashed.
17:43 September 1, 2009 by double concerto
Bahh...obviously any old doctor will do for the Swedes in these days of crashing standards. Drag 'em in regardless of qualificationns and character references.
18:11 September 1, 2009 by Harding00
Ah, we complain too much. So he was drunk (ok, really really drunk), but the healthcare is (more or less) free. Sure we pay lots in taxes to cover our medical care, but it's still a good bargain...pay a little and get a free (drunk) doctor. It's a better system than having to pay for it ourselves and get a competent well qualified non-intoxicated doctor. We shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. (And yes, I am being sarcastic, in case you didn't notice.)
18:38 September 1, 2009 by GeeG
"While the Board recognised that the doctor had been performing his duties adequately, both before and after the incident,"

Well, Just thank God for that! ;)
19:17 September 1, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Wish I could have seen him before he got found out, I could REALLY use a refill on my Xanex.
21:06 September 1, 2009 by Nina_
maybe he is suffering from depression. I don't judge people that quick.
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