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'Worst doctor in Norway' working in Sweden

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10:19 CEST+02:00
A surgeon who lost the right to operate in Norway after 29 cases of malpractice is working unhindered at a hospital in northern Sweden, where managers were previously unaware of her error-strewn past.

Danish doctor Johanne Krogh, 62, has become synonymous in Norway with medical malpractice after a series of high profile incidents that changed patients' lives for the worse.

In one case, she stormed out on a bleeding patient in the middle of a surgical procedure after losing her temper with a colleague in the operating theatre. The incident necessitated two further corrective operations for the patient, who later died after a wound became infected.

Also, several of her hip patients reported her to the authorities after emerging from the operating room with legs differing in length by up to four centimetres.

Krogh's errors have so far cost the Norwegian patient insurance system 13 million kronor ($1.7 million).

Krogh has worked at Hudiksvall Hospital since July 2007. But her Swedish employers were unaware of the Danish doctor's many medical missteps, having only carried out basic checks on her background. Instead, the matter was brought to the hospital's attention by Norwegian public radio broadcaster NRK.

“I understand that people have come to harm and that's something we have to respect, which is why I think it's important that information of this kind is exchanged between countries,” said Kjell Norrman, divisional manager for the Gävleborg county health service which employed Krogh.

But Norrman added that she had done a good job as a surgeon at the Swedish hospital.

The Norwegian patient insurance system has received 42 reports of malpractice pertaining to Krogh's work, 29 of which have led to insurance pay-outs. Two cases are awaiting arbitration.

”We consider the cases to be of a serious nature,” said Øydis Ulrikke Castberg, spokeswoman for the Norwegian System of Compensation to Patients (Norsk pasientskadeerstatning – NPE).

NPE decided to revoke Krogh's orthopedic and surgical licences after the first twenty reports of serious medical malpractice, which prevented her from performing surgery in the country.

But there was nothing to prevent her from working in neighbouring Sweden, where she is free to continue operating.

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