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'Send Swedes to Latvia for operations'

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14:13 CET+01:00
The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga is planning to start a Swedish-owned hospital in the Latvian capital in order to raise the standards of the country's hospitals and to remove some of the burden from the Swedish healthcare system.

Gunnar Ljungdahl, Senior Vice President of the Stockholm school's majority-owned Riga offshoot, believes more education is needed when it comes to the administration of Latvian hospitals and said the Swedish system could function as a benchmark.

“The Latvian system has not improved since the Soviet Union; we could help them to work more effectively,” he told The Local.

The Stockholm School of Economics, a business school ranked 15th in Europe by the Financial Times, has an executive master programme concentrating on health care, Ljungdahl explained.

“Doctors used to be the ones running hospitals but this has changed. You can be a great doctor, but it doesn't mean you're skilled at administration.”

Apart from aiding Latvia's healthcare sector, Ljungdahl hopes to speed up queue times for Swedish patients waiting in line for operations.

“The queues are long, and this could be a good alternative”.

“People might feel worried about leaving their country for an operation, but if their county council is involved they might feel more secure,” he said.

The Latvian ministry of health has now sent a letter to Swedish social minister Göran Hägglund with a proposal for co-operation.

According to Ljungdahl, Swedish health companies and county councils will be able to invest in the project.

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