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Jonas, 32, sewed up his own leg after ER wait

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 4 Aug 2010, 15:35

Published: 03 Aug 2010 08:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Aug 2010 15:35 GMT+02:00

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"It took such a long time," the man told the local Sundsvall Tidning daily.

The man incurred the deep cut when he sliced his leg on the sharp edge of a kitchen stove while he was renovating at home.

"I first went to the health clinic, but it was closed. So I rang the medical help line and they told me that it shouldn't be closed, so I went to emergency and sat there," the man named only as Jonas told the newspaper.

After an hour-long wait in a treatment room, he lost patience and proceeded to sew up his own wound.

"They had set out a needle and thread and so I decided to take the matter into my hands," he said.

Story continues below…

But hospital staff were not as impressed by his initiative and have reported the man on suspicion of criminal dispossession (egenmäktigt förfarande) for having used hospital equipment without authorization.

While Jonas admitted to the newspaper that he has no prior experience of sewing up himself he sought to play down the fuss that his handiwork has caused, arguing that "through the ages people have always sewn themselves up".

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 August 3, 2010 by pjtaipale
I would recommend that the authorities press charges. It would make a hilarious story, so descriptive of hospital bureaucracy - which is the same everywhere: hospitals are organizations that would roll their machinery perfectly well, only if there weren't any patients to distract the operation.
09:21 August 3, 2010 by CarlBlack
This hospital staff should be rather reported for not being where they were supposed to be. And Jonas now knows that he should just find a needle and help himself unless he has the whole day to spend at the hospital - the same situation as in Uppsala, I call this the Viking health system
09:50 August 3, 2010 by Great Scott
What's an "ER wait". What does it mean in Swedish, is it something like accident and emergency or casualty in English.
10:01 August 3, 2010 by I Groncour
Great Scott: I suppose "ER wait" means "Emergency room wait", in Swedish it would be: "väntan på akuten" or something like that.
10:14 August 3, 2010 by Puffin
Why didn't the guy just go to Apoteket and buy a wound gluing kit if it was not a serious injury - doesn't sound as though he was bleeding to death if he waited an hour.

Although I can understand the frustration - he sounds really impatient- 1 hour is really not a long wait in the A&E/Emmergency room on a summer weekend where there may be only one doctor on call dealing with these type of minor injuries which are prioritised on the basis of need.
10:46 August 3, 2010 by Great Scott

Great Scott: I suppose "ER wait" means "Emergency room wait", in Swedish it would be: "väntan på akuten" or something like that.

OK thanks for that Groncour , never heard of that before, "Emergency room wait", must be the local could not find the right words.
11:00 August 3, 2010 by hjoian
i can only imagine this wound was not so bad,but again,if it needed stitching,maybe it was? I have heard that Swedish men are real pussies and will get the smallest of cuts stitched......i dont know if thats true. However, the main point is that the hospital want to push charges....absolutely ridiculous!! Would they also leave unattended bottles of morphine and other drugs lying around? Jeez, this sort of story makes me think twice about Swedes..........
11:51 August 3, 2010 by Audrian
This is the real Rambo, which the Rambo in the movie had imitated.

The major problem with big wounds is infection. If the wound is not kept clean at all times this man will face a serious medical situation. I would like to read the sequel of this story.
12:17 August 3, 2010 by KBIS26
Take it easy Jonas..:)

i went to Malmö ER with a friend he had a fracture in one of his right hand bones at 8:30pm and they fixed it at 9:00 am day after, almost 13 hrs ....I think it is the same every where in Sweden not only in Sundsvall.. it looks like 24 hrs clinic not ER....
12:50 August 3, 2010 by Pursuivant
Friendly and efficient self service.
12:51 August 3, 2010 by Audrian
@ KB1S26

In defense of the health system in Sweden I have the following to say. Delays happen because there is shortage of staff. Medical procedures take a long time to complete. Doctor's appointments for surgery that are not life threatening can take one year because specialists are few in number.

Should you however like to see a faster hospital service, you have to accept to pay more tax so that the present number of hospitals could increase from 66 to say 100 and staff size would increase likewise. The problem with this proposition is that it is so expensive that Swedish people will have to cut their consumption of other things, e.g., less clothing, travel and dinner in resturants.

Given existing health care resources, I think Swedish health care system has a better performance than those elsewhere in Europe.
13:18 August 3, 2010 by Zoolander428
5000 EUR for stiches in the USA is a big stretch. I've never paid more than $100 for stiches. (including times where I required more work than just stiches) Now if you were admitted to the hospital for a stay, and needed catscan/MRI/etc, then the bill would go up, but not to that level. I spent 5 days in the hospital, multiple tests, and surgery... and my bill was less than $5k.

The "expense" of the US system is always exaggerated. If you have a decent job, you have health insurance, and an ER visit will only set you back 100-$150.

Overall, I paid a lot less towards healthcare in the US, and had much better care. I'm not complaining about the Swedish system - but it isn't that great compared to other places.
13:21 August 3, 2010 by PonceDeLeon
He obviously received the "Service" he paid for.

I had a similar experience. After four plus hours of waiting, I left the ER in Uppsala. The attending physician, stating the obvious, said that I should not leave because I needed stitches. I agreed, and replied that was why "I was there". Unfortunately, the train I needed to catch would not wait. Next..
13:44 August 3, 2010 by Lemon1987
quite hilarious story ..Im curious if this happened just in the summertime or through whole year
13:46 August 3, 2010 by Swedesmith
@Trowbridge H Ford: quite a tale, when is the book coming out?
14:00 August 3, 2010 by LeoKinmann
a few yrs ago i went to the hospital to check out a minor heart condition. could only go on weekends cos i attended school on weekdays. as it turned out, all the local clinics were closed bcos it was a weekend. so i had to get to the ER. there they left me waiting for 13 hrs before a cardiologist finally came to me to tell me that my condition was nothing more than extreme-stress induced. if this is the health care you get for paying all the tax then i demand to get a refund so i can take the money and visit a private clinic. where it's open on weekends, and you dont have to wait for 13 friggin hrs!
14:47 August 3, 2010 by jwlundgren
having experienced a Stockholm ER where my husband almost removed his IV himself for wont of finding someone to do it for him. I can understand that. Waiting for the day when you walk in with a heart attack and say sorry, you have to wait three months for an appointment.
15:56 August 3, 2010 by kenny8076
trowbridge your obviously mis educated or an idiot. I fell down the stairs last year. Broke my wrist, dislocated 2 fingers, broke my nose, knocked a tooth out and gashed my chin. after ER visit and release i received bill in mail 2 weeks later and the total for all works including dentist visit was $4100 with a CAT scan(in Washington D.C.).

And thats fine that you are backing this weak swedish healthcare operation they have on here, but you get what you pay for. Seeing as how the have the best medical research in the world, highest technology advances and most top rated hospitals in the world i think we CAN justify our healthcare.

Last i checked this ame exact website about 6months ago was reporting incredible waiting lists to see doctors and many people going to to Norway for CAT and MRI scans to beat 3 month waiting lists. Yes you have a "free" system but step back and just look at it lol. It's a joke.

And stop talking about how much we pay because you pay just as much if not more with all your taxes you have to pay here so your government can babysit you and tell you what you can have and what you cannot have. %25 sales tax compared to 4.5 in D.C. is a big difference not including your silly %18VAT tax. thats what pays for your "free"healthcare. I paid $98 a month for my insurance, and out of that $4200 bill i paid i think about $1100

your story and claims make no sence, are backed up by things you ''heard'' and mean nothing but that you people here haven't got a clue about what goes on across the pond
16:29 August 3, 2010 by astralweeks
This is a preview of things to come for folks in the USA under Obamacare. Enjoy. You get what you vote for.
16:41 August 3, 2010 by NorthDakotaSwede
Well, you Swedes voted the Socialists in, now you will never get rid of them,

or their Socialized medicine. \In America, my employer pays most of my health

care. My co-pay is $15 for a visit, $50 if I use the emergency room, and

I can choose my own Doctor. I can also make a same day appointment

on any day. My Norwegian cousin in Skarnes, Norway, Finn-Chr. was

shocked when he saw how inexpensive things were in the United States!

That's because our taxes are low. Now we have an idiot in the White

House who wants to kill the goose that laid a golden egg by introducing

Socialism. Americans will vote him and his gang out soon. Small

government is best. Give the reins back to the people, not Big Brother!!

They will control every aspect of your life. Get rid of the parasites.
16:47 August 3, 2010 by LeoKinmann

how old are you, really? 60 yrs stateside plus 20 yrs abroad, so, 80? which means, when CIA poisoned you back in 1997, you should've been at least 67 yo. why would CIA want to poison you at such an old age? you must've been a priority target. what did you do then? deserting the Vietnamn War? selling intelligence to Russia? joining KGB? what is it?
17:01 August 3, 2010 by NorthDakotaSwede
"Trowbridge H. Ford" is obviously a troll. The story he tells

is absurd.
17:01 August 3, 2010 by Vetinari
American Health Care: The best in the world!

Thats why no western country wants to adopt that system...
17:11 August 3, 2010 by john__doe
Quote: "But hospital staff were not as impressed by his initiative and have reported the man on suspicion of arbitrary conduct for having used hospital equipment without authorization."

The problem is in the medical field, not government. Problems like these are prevalent in the US as well. To anyone who has spent more than a week in a US hospital, know they suck just as much.

I love how people can take any subject and spin it to fit the righteous political prism from which they view life, sigh...
17:32 August 3, 2010 by americanska
this is what you sign up for with a socialst medical system. a black hole that keeps decreasing care and increasing costs.
17:32 August 3, 2010 by USRocks
Trowbridge - "Still before I left, they gave me a capscan to make sure that I hadn't suffered brain damage."

I'm guessing the catscan showed major brain damage! CIA out to get you, LOL! We call that skitzophrenic here in the US and if you had better health care like we have here in the US, you would be on your meds right now instead of being paranoid.

BTW - US health care rocks! That's why all the rich and elite from y'alls countries come here when they need health care! I don't need to go to a clinic for healthcare, I go to a doctor of MY CHOICE!
17:37 August 3, 2010 by cogito
@Audrian. No. Sweden is NOT best. All studies agree that the French have the best healthcare in Europe, and their taxes are much lower.

@Trowbridge. Healthcare is free in the USA for those who cannot pay and for illegals.

Obamacare's new healthcare czar is a great admirer of the British NHS. Here is an illustration of of that fine system:

17:43 August 3, 2010 by Vetinari

Very few wealthy individuals travel to the US for HC. But you are rightin one regard; US HC is good for those with money as they can jump ahead in line.

And of course you forgot to mention that you go to a doctor of choice that is in your HI network. Not in your network? Don't bother...
17:52 August 3, 2010 by USRocks
Sorry Vetinari, you are so wrong! First off, even if they are not in my network I can still go to them. I just pay 20% and my insurance pays 80%. Been there done that, went to the best knee surgeon I could find and the doctor I went to didn't even charge me my 20%.

Not to mention most doctors are in all the networks. Other than the knee surgeon which typically only works on major sports athletes, I have NEVER had a problem finding doctors not in my network. And I don't go to any foreign doctor, only US doctors who graduated from US colleges!
17:55 August 3, 2010 by Vetinari
Sorry USRocks you are so wrong. I was looking to get US HI as I am living there and the two major nsurance companies in the area (BCBS and Aetna) had very little overlapping doctors listed, and neither company would pay for visits outside of their network.
18:05 August 3, 2010 by USRocks
Wrong again Vetinari, "The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO is a preferred provider organization (PPO) that combines the advantages of a national network with the option to use physicians and facilities outside the network, but at a higher cost."

Most plans allow Out-Of-Network doctors. The premiums are higher (which I am more than happy to pay, never paid more than a few dollars a month more) and they usually either have a larger deductible or 80%/20% coverage which is what I have.

From Aneta -"We find the amount listed in Aetna Out-of-Network Rates for the procedure code your doctor billed.. This is the "recognized" or "allowed" charge for that procedure based on what we pay our doctors in our network. After this, your health plan pays a portion of the "allowed" amount. You can find the percentage that we pay for out-of-network care in your health plan documents.

Example: Your plan pays 60% of the "allowed" amount when you choose to see doctors out of our network. In this example, you had an office visit with an out-of-network doctor. The doctor charged $250 for your visit. The Aetna Out-of-Network Rate for the service you received is $100, so that is the "allowed" amount. Your plan will then pay 60% of $100, which is $60. The doctor may bill you for the difference between her charge and what Aetna pays."

You have NO CLUE what you are talking about! Like I said and I WAS RIGHT, I can go to any doctor OF MY CHOICE!
18:16 August 3, 2010 by Twiceshy
In Phoenix, AZ, he might have had a 7 hour wait due to illegal alien Mexicans using the Emergency Rooms as family clinics. After all, it is free to them.
18:20 August 3, 2010 by USRocks
Vetinari, You are also wrong about no overlapping doctors! That is NOT TRUE! Doctors need to make money, they are not going to refuse any major insurance company as they will be turning down many MANY patients! DUH!!!

Just think about it logically, if the only 2 big insurance companies are BCBS and Aneta and you are a doctor, would you only pick one and reduce your potential patient size in half? Heck no, you take both insurance companies.
18:31 August 3, 2010 by Vetinari
Ahh USRocks so you admit that paying for decent HI is higher and that to be abel to see whoever you like costs a lot more. In Sweden we always went to the nearest doctor when I was sick as a kid (had a lot of ear problem so it was quite often) and had no problems whatsoever, no difference in prices. Sounds to me like a better system.

I am glad that you can afford the premiums, a lot of Americans can't, and as HI permiums are rising significantly faster than inflation, more and more will be unable to. This is the main reason the US HC system is so lowly regarded as your doctors (ironically mainly foreigners) and equipment are as good as anywhere else.

And no, it does not make sense to not join both HI networks, but doctors still did it.

So yeah, I think getting the same coverage for a lot less is definitely better. Besides, then there is the small issue that in Sweden my baby wont get refused HI becasue he is too fat or too thin...
18:49 August 3, 2010 by GRG
Great story. Thats one tough Swede. He deserves a medal. All Americans ought to learn that since with Obama's national health system, we are pretty much on our own for health care.
18:49 August 3, 2010 by jastrunk
All this rabble rousing could have been avoided if Jonas cleaned out his cut with hydrogen peroxide, applied a wall of refined sugar in and around the wound, wrapped it with gauze or a clean cloth and changed the dressing 2-3 times a day. Result: no infection and no remaining scar. Honey could be substituted for the sugar....and no ER necessary. I have a longtime friend from Stockholm who, like me, is on his 3rd wife. He became a US citizen because he admires America for its freedom and opportunity and now sees the stupid Marxist president screwing up America every day and night. He told me years ago that European(and Viking) Socialism was a failure and that the E common market would fail.

Why did Ericsson leave Sweden? Why do we buy Volvos from Canada? Why can't a person own his private company? You see, socialism has killed the golden egg. You have an entire generation dependent on government permission and handouts to exist. Now you import all the uneducated trash from E.Europe and the Mid East and all they do is build mosques and pray 5 times a day and get their welfare check!
18:54 August 3, 2010 by vinrusso
I am an American that lived in Sweden from 1991 to 1998, and I can tell you I have never seen anything like it. My freind rushed me to the "hospital" in Goteborg. It was appendacidis. Not only was it standing room only. I was seen about 7 hours later!! Not only that they only had CAT scan machines at special large hospitals. Many Swedes are also under the impression that if you don't have money you don't get seen!! I have had surgery, broken bones you name it. If you are indigent you fill out papers and get on whatever that states program is called, and done. No monster taxes, no lousy care. Believe me I have seen things in Sweden that would blow american minds! Nice place to visit but nightmare to live there. Forstor?
18:58 August 3, 2010 by Patriot Act
Is what Kenny says true -- that in Sweden you pay 25% sales tax plus 18% VAT? That's a bare minimum of %43 tax on everything you purchase, ignoring the compounding effect of VATs. And this is on top of the average 49% that you pay in income tax?? Plus whatever other taxes you have? Good grief, do you have anything left over for food and shelter, or does the government provide that, too?

Yeah, health care in Sweden is real cheap, alright.
19:25 August 3, 2010 by Fonzarelli
Not really a big deal. I've sewed up my hand, finger a few times. I learned you want to get far enough back the first time. Saves a lot of $$ (It helps to think about that when sewing)
19:45 August 3, 2010 by zeulf
just on the surface , this story shows a few flaws in Swedens Health care service. but if I wanted perfection, i could turn on the Radio and listen to Rush L's version. I'd rather pay for Medical system that benifits everyone than for Military which seems to help only the Rich and greedy people. Small government allows few regulations but the US Banking/ Stock exchange almost took the Economy down just a couple of Years ago. Do any Republicans remember that? I Admire Swedish Society.
19:47 August 3, 2010 by Streja
Patriot Act, no it's not true.

25% is VAT

Some goods have less, like books.

I don't pay 49% tax on my salary either.
20:10 August 3, 2010 by Puffin
I guess it's true that Swedish healthcare does not make such a big fuss of the worried well/minorly injured - there tends to be prioritisation on need - especially in the summer most people know that there is a long wait in the ER/A&E - it's better to visit the District Nurse or a private doctor that the County pays for

@ NorthDakotaSwede

Obviously you have been out of touch for a long time if you think that Sweden has a 'socialist' government - I don't think Fredrik Rheinfeldt will be happy :)

@ Patriot Act

I don't know where you are getting these tax rates from?????

- VAT up to 25% - but can be lower such as 6% on books

- have never heard of this 'sales tax'

- what is 49% tax?? Where did you get that figure from - are you including the payroll taxes that Employers pay? - these are never treated as part of the employee salary - completely seperate - most employees pay no state taxes at all - they pay around 20% to the municipality and 10% to the county which covers healthcare
20:23 August 3, 2010 by paperrockscissors
Healthcare in the US is ridiculous. I and many of my 20-something year old friends do not have health insurance and are therefore afraid to get hurt. If I were to get into a car wreck I would easily owe $5,000 between an ambulance ride and a hospital stay. I could not pay that off making the $150 a week I make. Anyone here could buy health insurance, but people with low paying jobs such as servers at restaurants and retail clerks have enough trouble paying for an apartment, we cant even begin to worry about health insurance.

Additionally, here in Atlanta, Georgia, the one public hospital where you can get free care [Grady Hospital], is constantly on the verge of being closed for lack of funding. In my opinion, the capitalist system here only works for the rich.
20:43 August 3, 2010 by vinrusso
And what happens if you don't pay the 5000 dollars Atlanta? You go to debt prison? c'mon moron you know only about 1/3 of the people that go to hospitals actually pay if they have no insurance. If your in a bad car accident in the states and you must be seen quickly, what happens? Careflight, anywhere in the states. What happens in sweden? Wheres the helecopters? Unless your lucky and happen to be near one your screwed!
21:15 August 3, 2010 by Swedesmith
I know a guy named Bruce who administers his own prostrate exam.
21:29 August 3, 2010 by americanska
@paperrockscissors - you are obviously a very irresponsible person.

- No car insurance based on your comment above.

- you don't pay for health insurance

- you make $150 a week so you pay next to zero taxes.

but you are going to complain about getting a bill for $5,000 after receiving the most state of the art treatment and best care in the world. i'm sure you wouldn't pay the bill anyway.
21:36 August 3, 2010 by Syftfel
Socialized medicine at its worst(best?). Obamacare. Here we come!
22:03 August 3, 2010 by Duude
The hospital should send him a bill for materials and renting him a chair in the waiting room to do his work.
23:20 August 3, 2010 by Montana Doc
One question: Did he do a good job?
23:45 August 3, 2010 by Luke35711
I wonder what kind of healthcare plan one got onboard a Viking long-ship. A merciful chop of an axe, or a kindly throw over the board, perhaps? And a fellow Viking assuring you: don't worry, I will take care of your woman back home ;)
00:16 August 4, 2010 by kenny8076
trowbridge............ ''And it is plain silly to talk about how little you pay with your insurance, as you keep paying it all the time, and with no benefit unless you get sick or hurt. ''.............

And you keep paying some of the highest taxes both retail and income in the world, and keep paying it ALL THE TIME whether you get hurt OR attend University. Whats your point? you might never get sick or go to college put you will pay for it a long as your alive in Sweden. In the US if you dont go to college guess what, YOU DONT PAY FOR IT, if you never get sick you can either not have insurance or get a bare minimum deal. either way when you DO go to the doctors im sure we are all in agreement that the results and care is far more advanced there. Like i said YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
00:49 August 4, 2010 by Trader Lu
So glad that rationed health care is no coming to the U.S. This is what Socialized medicine is all about. Wake up America!
00:50 August 4, 2010 by calhoun211
Just had a doctor visit today at 1535. At 1600 i was in the hospital. At 1620 I was in the xray unit At 1645. I was on my way to my car. My cost for the day was a ten dollar copay for my doctor. Come to Lapeer, Mi if you need great health care.
01:42 August 4, 2010 by Streja
kenny, maybe more Americans should get a chance to go to college so they could learn how to spell their ailments.
02:01 August 4, 2010 by xenyasai
Reading the comments on most TL articles is kind of amusing, and it is enlighting in regards to why the world hates seppos so much. All they do is complain about everyone else, while their own country is falling apart. If your country is so amazing, why do you have to whinge and moan about other countries so much?
02:37 August 4, 2010 by TheDiviner
Not everyone has the nerves to sew their own stitches. I've done it twice, and Super Glued once. Not as pretty work as a surgeon, but nice scars for conversation.
02:49 August 4, 2010 by Doug Soderstrom
Well..........The hospital may have reported the man in question on suspicion of arbitrary conduct for having used hospital equipment without authorization, however, it is my opinion the man in question ought to have been given a medal of honor for having sewn up his own wound as he did, and then proceeded to either kick the hospital's staff's ass or to have, one by one, sewn up their asses with the needle and thread that was left over!
03:34 August 4, 2010 by Da Goat
If they had laid out the stuff because it is disposable then it was actually his, it does not constitute equipment per se!

also why wait for a doctor anyone of the nurses should be able to suture him up , i think well done Jonas, get some practice and hire out your services!
03:57 August 4, 2010 by Diamond Mair
;-) ;-)

Folks, take a look @ 'Trowbridge H. Ford's' first post: "When I fainted and split open my head in 1997 here in Lidingö - caused by the ricin-like poison that the CIA had gotten the Portuguese Intelligence Service to feed me in tiny amounts to make it look like I had died naturually - " Yes, I'm SURE he's such a threat to the U.S. that the CIA farmed out his murder ;-) ;-)

He's been reading a few too many spy novels, and inflating his own ego - he's not important enough for the U.S. government to worry about..

As for REAL American healthcare: we pay $92.00/week, my husband's employer doubles or triples that, and we pay $20.00 co-pay to our primary care physicians. {$40.00 - 60.00 to specialists} - we had another plan last year, when I underwent surgery - a $45,000.00 bill cost US $125.00.

Just don't rely on the malcontent expatriates for honest evaluations of the Americans systems .....................................

Semper Fi'

04:14 August 4, 2010 by WAKE UP
This is like the bus company in Britain a few years ago that had a schedule that ran perfectly as long as they didn't pick up any passengers.
07:03 August 4, 2010 by schmuck281
1 hour? I'm a 60 year old American with good private insurance. A few months ago I had a sudden onset of head pain (I never get headaches) and double vision.

Fearing that it was something serious I went to the hospital ER where I sat in the waiting room for 9 hours. I then spent another 6 hours in the treatment area where they ran extensive tests, MRI, CAT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays and whatever else they could think of.

In the end, they couldn't find anything wrong, my symptoms disappeared on their own and I was sent home without treatment.

But I found out that I had 50% blockage in one of my Carotid arteries (which is medically insignificant at my age), that I am slightly overweight (I already knew that. I'm American) and that I had no significant coronary or vascular problems.

It cost my Insurance company north of $5,000.00 (US) and my co-payment was about $75.00. But I (and my employer) have been paying premiums for over 20 years with no significant illness. So, it evens out.

If I cut myself and it was not bleeding too bad, I would go to my local fire station and they would patch me up.

I guess things are different here. Anybody in Sweden get such an extensive checkup in 6 hours?
07:14 August 4, 2010 by bubba-Q
You should not have sewn yourself up without breaking into an O.R. and at least cleaning the wound properly first..

Gee, it's great to get everything for free, no?

Yeah, this mess is coming to the USA very soon.

Learn basic first-aid.

Who pays for this train-wreck?

We do

Socialized medicine is the holy grail of communists.

We will defeat socialism and/or communism!!!

Praise the 1st and 2nd ammendments.
08:52 August 4, 2010 by Puffin
So in the USA there is never a wait to see the doctor in the ER?

09:16 August 4, 2010 by americanska
@ Puffing - actually in the ER there is a wait. because that is the only place the capitalism goes out the window and everyone gets treated no matter what. so often the idiots and illegals that don't have insurance just always go to the ER and clog it up. and the hospital usually has to eat the bill.

sounds like a nice idea - but it isn't.

@ Streja - in fact a much higher percentage of Americans go to university than anywhere else.
09:50 August 4, 2010 by Patriot Act
I got my average 49% income tax figure from everyone's favorite source - wikipedia:


Sweden appears to have almost the highest income tax in the world.
10:49 August 4, 2010 by cogito

American federal law stipulates that no hospital must treat anyone who turns up, regardless of the patient's inability to pay for it.

The waits for care in the US are due to the millions of illegals who clog the emergency rooms.

Still, the waiting times are on average no longer than the wait in Swedish Akuten.

But in Sweden we wait and we wait, even though we paid in advance through some of the world's highest taxes.
13:05 August 4, 2010 by f8andbethere
"Should you however like to see a faster hospital service, you have to accept to pay more tax so that the present number of hospitals could increase from 66 to say 100 and staff size would increase likewise."


You are already paying a lot of tax for bad service. If you had a private, profit making system, you would get faster, higher quality service. It works every time it's tried. Socialism can be made to look as if it works for a long time, but eventually it breaks down, as you are seeing. As Margaret Thatcher said, Socialism "works" until you run out of other people's money.

The ONLY economic system that actually creates value, and, thus, grows; the only economic system that CAN afford to support those who truly can't support themselves is a profit making, capitalist system.

You can't get something for nothing. It's a law of Physics.

You do not have a "right" to other people's money. Besides, if you take too much of it, for too long, they'll slow down, or stop producing, or leave.

Lose this notion that money (value) can be taxed into existence. It can't. You can tax value away from people, but when your tax consumers outnumber your tax producers, you have a big problem -- like your medical system.

SOMEBODY has to WANT to do the productive work, or it will stop happening.
14:33 August 4, 2010 by sadiejo400wcn
So what is the big deal??

If you are on a fishing trip and get a cut for any reason and no MR DOC is there what do you do? Ofcourse you stich it up.

The medical ppl should be reported for not taking a man with a bleeding cut directly into the ER.

The rest is history. I think they reported him becuase they knew there would a huge hue and cry because he exposed their silly system WAY TO GO JOHAN.
15:35 August 4, 2010 by kregly
In all practicality, the hospital should just let this go and not draw any attention to the issue. it only makes the hospital look bad, everyone can relate to having to wait an inordinate amount of time for a simple procedure at an E.R.The man it seems had the right to sew his own leg up and the Dr. need only prescribe some antibiotics to fend off any infection.he's right when he says that people have been sewing up their own wounds since needle and thread were invented which was prehistoric to make clothes.The hospital should chill and let it go.What good comes from trying to charge this man criminally?
16:07 August 4, 2010 by shame, shame
leave Sweden now before it is all lost.

Who on earth would possibly want to live in a country where the health service prioritizes heart attacks, broken limbs and well, pretty much anything else really, over a young lad needing two stitches to a small leg wound.
16:15 August 4, 2010 by jackolantyrn356
Even this comment and shop site presents the Swedish attitude and their joy in participation. Thank you.

The poor fellow who was in line for fixing a cut ended up sewing uo his own leg. I know, .. but that would seem to be the display of the Swedish Spirit of Independence when "push comes to shove."

Thank you.

From an American
19:53 August 4, 2010 by William Doebler
In 1976 I had the opportunity to spend 3 months at the Karolinska hospital in Stockholm. There is a waiting list for virtually every surgical procedure that is performed. These waiting lists continue to grow and are the main mechanism for rationing of health care in Sweden. An enlightening experience that I had there involved the procedure for Dupuytren's contracture, which is a buildup of scar tissue in the palm of the hand that causes a flexion deformity of the fingers. One day the chief of police of Stockholm presented in the clinic with this condition. He was informed that the waiting list for this procedure was five years and we would put him on the list. He became extremely upset and left the clinic somewhat less than happy. What was really interesting was that his name somehow came to appear on the top of the list and we performed his surgery about 10 days later.

It would appear that the length of the waiting list would eventually plateau when the waiting time reached the average life expectancy of the persons on the list. The number of people going on the list would equal the number dying having never receiving their operation.

Since the health care system in Sweden is paid for by the government, the salaries of the doctors, nurses and other personnel are set by the government. One gets paid for working the number of hours of your shift. There is no extra pay for working overtime. No case in the operating room started after about 3 in the afternoon because it just might run past quitting time at 5 o'clock. Since no one got paid for working past 5 o'clock, no one worked past 5 o'clock. This also contributed to the length of the waiting list. There was not a day that I was there that we did not cancel cases in the afternoon, because they just might run past 5 o'clock. Our surgical service operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If your case was cancelled, it went to the top of the list for our next operating day. If that happened on Friday afternoon, you would not get your surgery until Monday morning.

This whole system is, of course, paid for by one of the most exorbitant systems of taxation on earth. Bjorn Borg, the Swedish tennis star, renounced his Swedish citizenship when he was informed that he would be paying 99% of his earnings to the Swedish government.

Because taxes are so high, so are prices! Things that we usually purchased in the States cost two to three times the amount in Stockholm. The Swedish people were told that the extra cost was for "Quality". Almost everyone there bought into that line of Bologna. I did not see any greater quality in stuff we bought in Sweden compared to what we bought in the States.

I heard many people there brag that Sweden was "50 years ahead" of the USA in the area of social welfare. That was 34 years ago. It would appear that they were quite possibly correct.
07:19 August 5, 2010 by Raiha
While you guys are debating the US medical system vs the Swedish one, I'll give you a story about Healthcare in Australia.

Three major operations for me.

Two for my son.

The cost to us: Nothing. Not one cent.

That's true, free medical care. And one of the reasons why Aus is second behind Japan in world statistics of who lives the longest.
16:09 August 5, 2010 by Luke35711

Life expectancy at birth (source: CIA World Factbook):

1 Monaco 89.78

2 Macau 84.38

3 San Marino 82.95

4 Andorra 82.36

5 Japan 82.17

6 Singapore 82.06

7 Hong Kong 81.96

8 Australia 81.72

9 Canada 81.29

10 France 81.09

11 Sweden 80.97

12 Switzerland 80.97

13 Israel 80.86

14 Iceland 80.79

15 Anguilla 80.77

16 Bermuda 80.60

17 Cayman Islands 80.57

18 New Zealand 80.48

19 Italy 80.33

20 Liechtenstein 80.19

36 United Kingdom 79.16

40 European Union 78.82

47 Ireland 78.41

49 United States 78.24

Anyone fortunate to live in Monaco, Macau or San Marino cares to speculate why these countries are at the top?
22:14 August 5, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
You are all morons.

Less that 10% of the Swedish tax revenue goes to health care.

Also, @William Doebller: You were in Sweden 1976. 1976! Not a single of your observations have any relevance anymore.
23:13 August 5, 2010 by americanska
why would it matter that less than 10% of swedish tax revenue goes to healthcare?

I think William Doebller's observations are just as relevant today, if not more so.
00:34 August 6, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@americanska: Because the idiots above claim that public healthcare = 50% tax. If we only paid for healthcare we would have an incredibly low tax rate.

We already spend less per capita on healthcare than the US spends on PUBLIC healthcare.

It is all the other things we spend money on that gives high taxes, e.g. sick-pay, maternity leave, pensions, day care, schools and universities, etc, etc.

"I think William Doebller's observations are just as relevant today, if not more so."

Of course you do. Your view on Sweden is based entirely on hearsay and on what The Local reports.
12:10 August 6, 2010 by toxicCooki13
I made an account just to say.

I live in Canada. Nuff said.

Free health care.

Sure, some of our provinces have higher taxes but I don't really care about paying them. Allot of lower income family's just get that money back anyways.

If you come down with Cancer, your treatment and stay in the hospital is covered by your MSP. You slice your leg open. Head over to a local clinic, get stitched (covered by msp) and get some prescription meds for infection prevention (usually not covered by msp). And if you have extended health care from your job, likely, your meds are covered 100% too. I have extended health from my job and I got minocycline completely covered. (anti acne meds)
15:19 August 6, 2010 by wat61@yahoo.com
I don't believe in "free" heath care, mainly because nothing in this world is free. Anyone who believes so is a blithering fool. Here in the US we have way to much "free" medical treatment now, and if it holds it will only get worse. I get to pay for an idiot that is to lazy to get a job and produce something. That is why since i actually work and make a living all by myself I have to pay for others. That is the price in this country for actually producing something. I have not and will not go to ER's or hospitals for the simple reason that most everything can be handled by myself or my wife. Why let a stranger with a needle or knife cut on you....get a brain.
20:16 August 6, 2010 by jbkulp
For Trowbridge:

"The central belief of every moron," Mencken wrote in 1936, "is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights."
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