Sweden issues fewer licences to foreign docs

Sweden issues fewer licences to foreign docs
Photo: Susanne Kronholm/Image Bank Sweden (file)
The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) issued fewer medical licenses in 2009 to doctors with foreign medical degrees than in previous years, new figures show.

“It is a little lower than it was before and I think there has been a pent-up demand,” said Hans Schwarz, a statistician at the board. “It has been a couple years since there have been new EU countries and Romania and Bulgaria have been in the EU for a few years now.”

The most common countries where training was received were Denmark and Greece. Outside the EU, Iraq and Russia also stood out. EU-trained doctors are automatically entitled to medical licences in Sweden without having to meet knowledge or language requirements.

In 2009, Sweden issued 2,094 medical licences, up from 1,939 in 2008. Of these, 862 licenses went to doctors trained in Sweden, compared with 803 in 2008 and 774 in 2007.

Among the doctors trained in the EU and European Economic Area, 825 received medical licenses from the health and welfare board last year, a decline from 1,088 in 2008 and 1,226 in 2007.

Within the EU/EEA, doctors who received licenses last year were trained in 20 countries, mainly in Denmark, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Romania.

All countries experienced a significant drop in medical licences issued from previous years except for Iceland, which more than doubled to 65 from 28 in 2008.

The number of licences issued for doctors trained in Greece, Hungary and Poland fell by nearly half in 2009: 95 from 200 for Greece, 70 from 138 for Hungary and 55 from 111 from Poland.

Of the doctors trained in countries outside the EU/EEA, 252 received medical licences last year, an increase from 203 in 2008. Of these, 51 have a medical licence in another EU/EEA country, an increase from 34 in 2008.

In addition, 90 of non-EU/EEA-trained doctors were educated in Iraq, up from 34 in 2008, and 31 in Russia, a decline from 52 in 2008.

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