• Sweden's news in English

'Swedish model' of healthcare set for export

The Local · 16 Jan 2011, 13:16

Published: 16 Jan 2011 13:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Despite domestic criticism over long queues and the lack of available beds, the Swedish healthcare system compares well on an international scale and is considerably cheaper than in many other major countries.

Some 9 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on healthcare in Sweden, compared with over 15 percent in the USA for example. Sweden also enjoys one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

The government is therefore looking into the possibility of exporting the concept which, according to Minister for Health and Social Affairs Göran Hägglund, could boost revenues and provide jobs.

To this end has teamed up with the export council and invested some 4 million kronor ($600,000) in an umbrella organisation called “Symbio Care” which can be promoted abroad by Swedish politicians and Swedish Trade Council (Exportrådet).

The package would include not only knowledge and practical advice, but would also help to boost sales of companies selling medical products to new markets.

“We have promoted Swedish healthcare abroad previously, but now we have created a clear concept,” Hägglund told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Other ministers are also optimistic about the concept's potential success

Story continues below…

“I have travelled to almost 50 countries over the past few years. Almost everywhere there is a demand for Swedish healthcare, care for the elderly and the handicapped,” minister for trade Ewa Björling told DN.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:37 January 16, 2011 by byke
LOL good luck.
14:34 January 16, 2011 by Brtahan
Hahah what a joke, i waited more than a year and a half and till now am waiting for an operation !!! why compare with USA???
15:41 January 16, 2011 by statC
Based on: my experience in the Swedish health system, and what Swedish friends have shared with me, and the concerns of many patient advocate groups, the concerns of many doctors and nurses, as well as comments posted in Swedish regarding neglect in the Swedish system... Based on these things which represent MY EXPERIECE, I feel that the world should be TERRIFIED of using the Swedish health system as a model.

I also know that any hint of critique regarding said system will mean that masses of posters on this website will start shouting their allegiance to Swedish state care. That's your opinion, and you have the right to express it, just as I have the right to express the TRUTH that I have experienced. I and thousands of others have the butchered scars to prove that this system FAILS. I have been horribly disappointed and shocked at how poorly patients in this system are treated.
15:45 January 16, 2011 by expert
Joke of the day, tell me its not first April...
15:49 January 16, 2011 by crofab
Please export the Swedish system to the US!
16:54 January 16, 2011 by kracker
It's cheap because you don't get any care. And it isn't free either you pay on your taxes for it and you pay 150 kr to go the doctor and 300kr for a specialist. If this "system" (lol Orwell's rolling over in his grave) was a private insurance policy then it would be one really crappy policy.
17:13 January 16, 2011 by Rebel
crofab, what do you have against the USA anyway?
17:20 January 16, 2011 by Roy E
It's relative. If the export the model to Uganda or Bangladesh then yes, there is basis to this article. Export would be a gfod thing.

But to the USA? Well then not too much. Actually, No. Losing control over one's own health care decisions and the freedom to pursue second opinions and treatment without government gatekeeping would represent a huge regression.
17:27 January 16, 2011 by Crocs
Export it to Ireland any day! I was home on holidays, fractured my cheekbone in a fall, paid a €100 tax just to be seen to in A & E. Waiting from 10PM until 4AM to be seen to. Doctor took x rays and gave me the all clear.. I went back to A &E the following day and turns out my cheekbone is broken in 2 places and I require surgery. So that was 2 x €100 spent and about 14 hours of waiting. That's close to 2,000KR spent and that's before I even got surgery! An absolute joke!

The Irish healthcare system is non existent! Export the Swedish one there any day!
17:35 January 16, 2011 by cogito

People from the U.K. think Swedish healthcare is good. That tells you everything you need to know about the National Health Service.

Obama's healthcare czar admires the NHS. That tells you everything you need to know about Obamacare.
17:36 January 16, 2011 by Jimmy
I had 17 stitches in my hand in Nov. Treatment was excellent. The only bloody problem is you can't just go and wait to see a doctor. Even when the physio takes you next door to the clinic.

So you go home and ring, but no you have to leave your number for them to ring you back. I waited for 5 hours. And if your child is sick and you haven't booked a time, by ringing between 0800 - 1000, God help you.

Export that system Yeah right
17:46 January 16, 2011 by Roy E

You raise a good point. There are a great many people who fail to make the distinction between a medical trauma incident (like a stitches or a broken bone) and more substantial issues that require specialists and/or specialized care (diseases, surgeries, etc)
18:15 January 16, 2011 by crofab
@Rebel: I don't have anything against the US. It's a fantastic country in many aspects and it has its advantages over Sweden in certain areas. But as a citizen of the US, I am deeply unsatisfied with our healthcare system. Having lived in both the US and Sweden, I can say that the Swedish system is far superior. Just my two cents.
18:39 January 16, 2011 by delfinita
I have a chronic disease and i have NEVER been treated as good anywhere else i have ever lived (say France, Spain, USA and now Switzerland). Comparing the Swedish system with Switzerland isnt fair cause i pay around 3000kr a month in insurance PLUS all the doctors appointments, analysis, IRMs, checkups, medicine etc. It works good but the best treatment i ever got was when i lived in Sweden. SO paying the system with my taxes will be a pleasure now that i am coming back.

This is MY truth and that of other thousands that think the system works well enough for what you pay for. Specially when the mortallity rate is much lower than in other western countries. That should say enough!

Maybe it isnt as convenient as having a private insurance where you can get appointments whenever it fits your schedule or you dont have to wait for hours for a broken bone. But thats what private insurance is for!
18:41 January 16, 2011 by Frank Lee
The author wrote: "Some 9 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on healthcare in Sweden, compared with over 15 percent in the USA for example. Sweden also enjoys one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates." Do we have to correct these misrepresentations every bloody time there's an article about health care? The main reason the U.S. spends a much higher percentage of GDP on "healthcare" is becuase money spent on medical R&D is included in the total. The five largest research hospitals in the United States conduct more medical trials than all hospitals outside of the United States combined. This doesn't mean the U.S. system is inefficient (though it may be). It simply demonstrates that Europe benefits from research the Americans pay for, and the American economy benefits from selling those medical treatments abroad (which inflates the healthcare sector). Also, American per capita GDP is 25 percent higher than Swedish per capita GDP, and one service people are willing to pay for with their extra income is health care. If annual per capita GDP in the States were closer to $30,000 (as in Sweden) than $40,000 (as it is now in the U.S.), Americans would have to get by with spending just nine percent of their income on health care like the Swedes because they would need the other 91 percent to pay for food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, and housing. Americans, with their higher incomes, can get by with spending only 85 percent of their income on those goods and services. And, finally, one of the reasons European infant mortality rates are so low (even compared to those in America) is that the Europeans are more likely to abort a fetus diagnosed with a defect, whereas Americans, who are more religious, are more likely to carry the fetus to term in hopes of a miracle (which, alas, rarely comes and the baby dies). And in the United States, an infant who is born with a defect and dies within a day or two is counted as a death, whereas in Europe that child is counted as a stillbirth and doesn't show up in the infant mortality statistics. That Swedes lie to improve their statistics this way makes me doubt all other claims about the health system.
18:51 January 16, 2011 by engagebrain
Swedes have the longest life expectancy on the planet, and its not down to the weather.

Compared to the USA everyone can actually gets health care in Sweden - at roughly half the cost as measured by percentage of GDP.

The American system is enormously wasteful and doesn't even deliver good health care.

To everyone except the American right it's a no brainer - but then there is the American education to take into account.
18:53 January 16, 2011 by scandinavian leather
If the best parts of the Swedish system could be combined with the best parts of the US system it would be an excellent world model.

Having lived in both countries I can say that in Sweden if you are in an acute situation eg. coughing up blood, you will be treated that day. But if it is something non-life or limb threatening you will wait and wait. And wait.

I must have the best Vård Centralen as well. I get a live body on the phone every time and for three years have been seeing the same doctor, on the same day I call. Usually within two hours of calling.

For those who complain about the US system, can you explain why so many Swedish doctors and nurses have trained there? They don't have to travel so far, yet they do.
19:09 January 16, 2011 by Mb 65
9,000,000 in Sweden 63,000,000 in England, and over 100,000,000 in the Us. how would Sweden's system work with these numbers???? it would have a hope in hell.
19:18 January 16, 2011 by Larry Thrash
I have a friend in Sweden that has chronic back pains and cannot get an MRI or other expensive procedures because this doctor says he is "too young" (45). After many trips to the doctor it's the same story, he cannot get approval. Living with this pain is ruining his life quality. I've heard other such stories but I cannot back up those so I won't speak of them.

A couple of reasons why I think medical care is 15% of GDP in the USA (if one is to believe this percentage) is the high cost of paying off greedy lawyers (law suits). Another reason the people aren't denied expensive medical care. If they need it, they get it in America. All Americans (and illegals) have medical care (free if they cannot afford it), but not all Americans have insurance. I'd rather have medical care myself but that's just me.

The media tends to demonize anything they see as capitalistic or American. Many in the American media say Cuba has a better heath system. One has to be mentally ill to believe this.

I'm not an expert on the Swedish medical system, but nor are Swedes an expert on the American medical system.

My worst fear is the American medical system will be destroyed by changing it. We will all suffer if it is.
20:10 January 16, 2011 by vladd777
Thanks to Sweden's healthcare system I got my life back after a very successful hip replacement op. and it cost me virtually nothing.

Sooo..while nothing is perfect anywhere..long may our healthcare system run!
21:03 January 16, 2011 by Sion1
I cannot complain about my health-care here in the States. But I am one of the lucky ones. However, about 40 million citizens are not covered. They are hesitant to get regular checkups, because of the cost, and use the Emergency Room at a hospital as their private physician -- since they have no coverage, I would like to see a single-payer system where everyone is at least minimally covered. Those who want more coverage, like myself, could pay for it.
21:17 January 16, 2011 by Brtahan
Well i dont know about the health system in the south but here in the north its useless, I went to a doctor for a problem and he searched it on google!!! he wasnt sure what he was saying and they are overconfident with no skills. I had severe pain after an operation and i went to emergency and waited from 10:30 in the evening till 3.30 at night till a doctor said ok have some painkillers. Dental care is more useless , while i was under 20 the doctor was trying to save as much as she can and she spoilet my tooth , i came to know that after i went to a private dentist who asked for the Xrays from the Tändvård and said that they could have treated you more better and finally my tooth broke because of the old 64 yr old dentist which i met in the lokaltändvård, changing her was impossible , i had 2 choices either wait for 6 months minimum or meet her!!! very cold careless attitude .
21:35 January 16, 2011 by gmaddalo
This is one of the biggest bullshit of the year! Everybody knows that the health care system in Sweden is simply not working, and now what you do is to celebrate it! It's such a Swedish attitude, never be self-critical!!! This country is going down instead please write something serious! I have a very scaring story to tell: a brain cancer was diagnosed to a the child of a friend of mine. The mum was destroyed and she contacted the doctors in Italy. The Italian doctors seemed immediately very suspicious about the diagnosis so they advised her to do further analyses and it turned out that it was mononucleosis!!! These people have to go and sell potatos. In order to have a suspect beauty spot i should have waited 6 months so i decided to remove in Italy (3 days!!!) (For the record skin cancer is one of the fastest!), although i pay taxes in Sweden. In my opinion the class of journalists here in Sweden is extremely low, there is no Investigation journalism, write about these stories instead of this. Please refer to real data (http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html) and you will see that Sweden does not appear neither in the first 20 positions. It's time you were self critic!!!
21:52 January 16, 2011 by maxbrando
In reading all of these comments carefully, you all want fast, competent care WITHOUT PAYING ANYTHING FOR IT! To those not in the USA, your Doctors are indifferent to your needs because your governments do not pay them enough for their education and labors. And do not tell me that they get paid enough, or that they should be satisfied with what they do get. That is a sign of a truly lazy and arrogant nation. And most of the EU citizens are just that. In the USA, there is at least the incentive for Doctors to get rich. This is why most of your Doctors emigrate to the US!! Eat s..t!
22:15 January 16, 2011 by anticommie
The swedish healthcare system, go home wait and hopefully die before we can see you.
23:01 January 16, 2011 by acidfairyy
From everyone's experiences, it sounds like the NHS. I LOVE the NHS. Yes, you have to wait hours to be seen in A&E, yes appointments can take months. But my god, when you get there the healthcare is second to none. Sure beats paying through the nose for private insurance.
23:11 January 16, 2011 by ngecenk
i have a regular check up here, and it cost me NOTHING! swedish health care system is good for people who like to keep his life healthy. i cannot judge for the unhealthy people, i havent been there.
01:09 January 17, 2011 by engagebrain
As I mentioned earlier Swedes are far healthier than Americans at a fraction of the cost.

The American lobby have not challenged the basic stats but somehow still say the US is best.

Most Americans worry about their health insurance and a serious longterm disease will bankrupt most American families -even those with insurance - insurers like you to pay in but will find any excuse for not paying out.

The insurers are at least one reason that US health costs are very high, you are paying their salaries too along with the inflated costs of for profit hospitals.

There is a battle between the insurers, who don't want to payout, the hospitals who want to screw the insurers for as much money as they can get. Somehow a few of the better insured actually get treated but treatment is not the major preoccupation of the American health care industry - it is cash flow not longevity.
02:41 January 17, 2011 by anticommie
Hey sweden your healthcare aint free, high income tax, high fuel tax,and a vat and MOMS tax added together would make most Americans scream bloody murder. You pay for your healthcare every day. I pay 18% income tax state/federal after deductions 6% sales tax and make over $100k per year. My insurance is probably 1/10th the cost of what you pay per year. So to say your health care is free is false.

Plus if I want to see a specialist doctor I can most likely get an appointment within 2 days. Most times I can get same day service.
03:52 January 17, 2011 by Frank Lee
@ engagebrain: Swedes are not "far healthier than Americans." As I noted above, the child mortality and life expectancy statistics in Sweden are cooked because babies that die in the first couple of days from a defect are counted as stillbirths, not as child deaths. Moreover, because Americans are wealthier, more of them own cars and drive a good deal, which means, alas, that they are more likely to die from automobile accidents--which is not the fault of the medical system, but does lower the American life expectancy figures. Americans, by the way, get nearly immediate medical attention for conditions that cause chronic pain, while Swedes are told to wait in a queue for months if not years. And 9% of GDP is not "roughly half" of 15%, as you claim. It is exactly three-fifths. You have some nerve knocking the American educational system--the world's best, to which so many Swedes flock for their university training--when you can multiply 9 by 2 and get 15.
05:09 January 17, 2011 by blursd
I am somewhat ambivalent about the entire idea of the exportation of the Swedish medical system to other countries. While it is true I was happy overall with my experience regarding the healthcare system in Sweden there were also some things I did not like. I didn't really have to go to the doctor that often, but I did end up in the ER once, and I ended up discovering I had a pollen allergy after moving to eastern Sweden. When I had minor issues I didn't mind having to make an appointment at the neighborhood health center ... we also weren't talking about anything life threatening, or any chronic conditions. In my opinion ... if this is your expectation of service then the Swedish system is by far more efficient and beneficial than other systems. If, however, you have anything beyond a stubborn cold, or a rash that won't go away it sometimes can be difficult dealing with Swedish healthcare.

When I went to the ER in Sweden it was about 2 in the morning, and I had a stress fracture in my foot that was rapidly becoming swollen and painful. Even though there were only about three patients in the ER, and about 20 staff I was there for about nine hours. I had three attending physicians that juggled me around, and they apparently weren't talking to each other because two of the doctors ordered the same tests the other one had -- the only reason I didn't have to take blood tests three times was because I told them I had already taken a blood test. And when I ended up having allergies it took almost three months before I could see an allergist to determine what exactly was causing my allergies. It was bad enough of a reaction I could barely open my eyes, and my throat felt torn up ... it was like getting sprayed with pepper spray, but it didn't go away. The only thing they could do for me in the interim was have me take Claratin which helped, but didn't really solve my problem by a long shot ... it was like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound.

Say what you will about the medical system in the United States, but if I go to my primary physician and say "look ... I am suffering from some serious allergies ... I need to see an allergist as soon as possible" the longest I am going to have to wait is a couple days (at most). I've even seen specialists on the same day as my primary care appointment ... I'm not saying the system in the United States is perfect, but it is better in some areas than the system in Sweden.

I honestly don't know how a Swedish system would work in my home state of California let alone the United States as a whole. I think it would be just a gigantic bag of hurt ... California is actually almost the same size geographically as Sweden, but it has eight times as many people ...
08:41 January 17, 2011 by karex
Great, now people in other countries can experience the thrill of dieing in the emergency room waiting for treatment because the patient failed to book an appointment (for the EMERGENCY room), or because the patient got sick on a Sunday and everyone knows that doctors don't work on Sundays...
09:52 January 17, 2011 by soultraveler3
Lol, the world better watch out. Technology from the 70's, 4 hour waits in the ER, 6 month waits for a MRI and 18 month wait for surgery. What a wonderful system! Add to that a lack of beds and the we don't give a s#it attitude of staff and it makes for a great combo.

The only way that Swedish healthcare is better than in the states is if you're one of the in between people that don't have health insurance at all. If you have a decent job you have health insurance, if you're poor you have health insurance.

If I got majorly ill I'd MUCH rather it happen in the states.
10:46 January 17, 2011 by blursd
And there is also the question of the cost of Healthcare ... sure the Swedish system is socialized, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's any cheaper.

I make about $80k a year at my job in San Diego, and my job offers a group medical policy that is not subsidized or co-paid by the employer. My medical plan is fairly good ... not the best, but definitely above average and it costs me about $440 a month ... with the Dental and Vision Insurance options it comes out to about $500. Sure, sounds expensive, but ...

In Sweden I made 26,000 SEK a month, and almost 12,000 SEK every month went to taxes. The medical taxes accounted for about 40% of my overall deductions every month, so my "medical/dental/vision insurance" in Sweden cost about 4,800 SEK, or around $700.

That means my insurance in Sweden was actually about $200 more a month ... and with my insurance here in the United States I don't have to pay for individual doctor visits (which Sweden does charge), and my prescriptions are $1 for generic, and $4 for name brand. When I had to buy one box of Claritin in Sweden it was about 200 SEK ($30). My dental insurance has really good co-pays ... my last root canal was $1400, and I had to pay $250 of that. My vision plan covers annual exams, as well as the cost of a years supply of contacts or glasses every year.
11:01 January 17, 2011 by aaww
the model of waiting?
11:31 January 17, 2011 by Streja
The reason why Swedes go to the US and train there is because it's difficult to get into medical uni here. There aren't enough placaes for all the ones that want to become doctors. They also go to Denmark, Poland and other European countries to train.

There is also collaboration between different unis in Sweden and the US.

Welcome to the modern world.

Most Swedish doctors work extra in Norway because they earn more there.
11:38 January 17, 2011 by Brtahan
HAhah thats true its the model of waiting and waiting!!! All these people and the local should make a petition about the health system in here. The politicians know about this but they are more bussy with how to reduce a 100kr tax from the salaries while the people dont know if they get sick they have to travel to other countries and pay lots of money to get faster and better treatment!
12:00 January 17, 2011 by johnny1939
The Swedish healthcare system might work OK for 9 million people. Keep in mind that many of the procedures regularly done in the US are not even available in Sweden for not being cost effective. Also, the treatment depends on who you are and where you are. Just try to be an immigrant going to emergency and the care might not be the same as for a swede.
13:16 January 17, 2011 by karex

Sorry, have to disagree with you there. I think that the Swedish healthcare is very democratic: equally bad for everyone...
13:22 January 17, 2011 by Cederberg
The cost of my health insurance has literally doubled in 3 years (living in Florida). I am self-employed and pay for it myself. The cost is becoming impossible so we soon will be forced to cancel our insurance. Most people in Sweden are so used to everything being free they can't imagine how expensive it is to live here
16:27 January 17, 2011 by andreasbe
Just to get my two cents in, I am a Swedish expat planning to move back to Sweden from South Africa, I currently pay for Medical AID about R5000.00 (Aprox 5000Kr), This gives me and my family limited access to private care(GP etc...) and unlimited Hospitalization(Private Clinic), having said that I would not send my worst enemy to a state hospital as they probobly die 10 years later from an AIDS related desise, I checked on Folksams website (I think) and they charged about 530kr/month for my whole family for full private cover, so I assume that the government subsidy in Sweden allso saves me on Medical Aid costs and then I can go to a private facility and get treeted immediatly. so I say no brainer. I have not had a problem with Swedish state based care in the past (Pre 1998) so I cant complain (Except for the time that i was incorrectly diagnosed in Sigtuna Vård Central with astma when I only had Broncitis) annyway Thumbs up for trying to get a buissnes model out there and hopefully it works.
18:57 January 17, 2011 by Nilspet
I have 2 points:

1)You can export medical equipment to the world YES and I will support it.

2) But please NEVER export our medical care system and services to the world. It will only be embarrassing!

My friends could no longer wait for necessary operations in Sweden and decided to go to Thailand. They walked in a private hospital and the next day the problem was solved with the WORLDCLASS care and quality at a Thai price. They never returned to the Swedish health center again. Many Swedes I know no longer go to their state dentists because they have to wait too long and it does not cover everything they need and want. Going to private dentists in Poland or Czech you get all that you want done in one go and much cheaper (and it feels better too !)

There is NO way Sweden can beat countries like Thailand, Singapore, and many more on medical care and services. The Swedish model does not even work in Sweden. What they can best do is to sell more medical equipment abroad! That is it, folk. Be realistic. It is not enough to show statistics like infant mortality rate being low in order to export our medical care.
19:56 January 17, 2011 by ngecenk

yes... because the last time i check, there were bodies on the street /sarcasm

seriously, im not even a swedish but after 2 years staying here, the one thing i notice is people dont get rush into everything in here. live runs slow in here, in a good way of course. back in my country, you have to rush into everything or lost the pace.

swedish, keep your socialism state! its a good way to maintain a country so you dont have to invade another country to maintain your lifestyle.
23:41 January 17, 2011 by tes85
Many people have good points of view, of which everyone is entitled to.

The main point I see arise through this thread is the 'waiting times' for non-serious procedures. As the Swedish healthcare system is based on three principles:

*human dignity

*need and solidarity


it would be apparent that those who 'need' treatment will be seen first, in an equitable manner.

As others have written, they have given up on waiting for an elective procedure, well they have the right to, and I'm guessing have the money to travel elsewhere for the procedure. Yes, in the US you can get treated quick (if you have money), but you are paying much more out of pocket and in taxes. Whereas, only 2.3% of Swedish residents have private health insurance, and it is uncommon to pay up front for a procedure...

So... although the downfall exists of waiting times, compared to many other countries statistically the system works with equity (researchers debate this of course). The health outcomes of Swedes prove the fact. with a life expectancy of 80.3 (both male and females) and fewer than 4 deaths per 1000 children under-5.

Of course there is room for improvement, like in anything. But if equity is to prevail, then the waiting lines will continue, unless Sweden's private healthcare section grows, of which there is demand for, and those that have extra money can use the private system, which will in turn hopefully decrease the burden of waiting times in the public system.

06:17 January 18, 2011 by BarCode
Let's do a little thought experiment. Let Sweden provide healthcare for Baltimore. Do you really think life expectancy there will rise to 80.3 years, infant mortality plummets, etc.

I would be willing to bet if the US provided healthcare to Stockholm (an area of roughly equivalent population to Baltimore), the health metrics for Stockholm would stay good.

So is it the healthcare in Sweden that is better?
10:53 January 18, 2011 by tes85
population size is irrelevant.... age construction is important though. If Balitmore were to uses Sweden's healthcare system, it would take on the model of taxes and decentralisation down to a local level. Regardless of population size, x number of people pay taxes and x number of people use the system. A problem that could occur is that if Balitmore had fewer people of working age and contributing to taxes then the system would not work as well (which is not the case), Sweden actually has one of the largest groups of +65 in the world, yes still maintains enough funding.
13:38 January 18, 2011 by jwlundgren
I think the goal of the swedish system is to kill you or let you die . I believe I have shortened my lifespan by moving here to be with my swedish husband. I believe you either live or die on your own, you cannot count on the medical system to help you. I'd love to find the underground 'witch doctors', I think you'd get better results. My husband has an ongoing illness no one can identify, instead of trying he has been 'released' with a letter saying 'sorry we cannot help you, but please do contact us if it gets worse'. He had to call around to ER's himself to try to find one to take him because he missed his 'call in time' at the local vårdcentralen. Remind me to schedule my heart attack, stroke, or appendectomy when someone is on duty and not during christmas or summer vacations.

We have a friend, a young guy in his 30's, having heart palpitations. He went to the 'wrong' hospital so they wouldn't treat him, he had to pay 800 SEK for a cab ride to the 'right' hospital. The worst thing, is your spouse cannot sue the system if you die of neglect.
13:59 January 18, 2011 by Roy E

regarding your call for 'EQUITY!'

The goal is to do the best you can for the greatest number of people you can. The lowest common denominator is hardly desirable.

@jwlundgren -

I recall quote from a Briitsh NHS doctor to the effect of :

' In a private system a death represents a loss of revenue, while in a government system , a death represents a cost savings.'
14:14 January 18, 2011 by cogito
@ Roy E. Great quote. Thanks

The bureaucrat Obama has put in charge of Obamacare has said he wants the British NHS model for the U.S. The NHS is so awful that, in comparison, Sweden's healthcare looks good.

It does seem the goal of the Swedish system is to kill you or let you die, especially if you are elderly and a pensioner, that is, a financial burden on the state.
01:06 January 19, 2011 by einsteins monkey
jwlundgren #46 wrote: " My husband has an ongoing illness no one can identify, instead of trying he has been 'released' with a letter saying 'sorry we cannot help you, but please do contact us if it gets worse'."

This happened to a friend of mine as well, but he found help with doctors in Germany who diagnosed him with borrelia (which you get from a tick bite). But now he has permanent neurological damage because the Swedish doctors never took him seriously. I have no faith in this system at all. I've heard too many sad stories from too many people. It's inhumane.
Today's headlines
Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Cannabis worth millions seized at Swedish port
A file photo of a Swedish police cannabis find not related to the story. Photo: Polisen

The 300kg haul was found by in a truck which drove off a ferry in Karlskrona.

Roll over Volvo: there’s a new Swedish car in town
Photo: Björn Olsson

Car developers in Gothenburg have given Volvo a new sibling.

Thaw trip: Swedish PM Löfven heads to Saudi Arabia
Margot Wallström was at the centre of the 2015 diplomatic crisis. She will not join the Prime Minister on his trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

There are fences that need mending.

Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
This shot of snow in western Sweden may not be as far away as you think. Photo: Johan Eklund/TT

...and it's still only October.

Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
The new rules are unfair, say Swedish IB pupils. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

A new system for converting the grades of International Baccalaureate students in Sweden will make it almost impossible for them to get into top Swedish universities, it has been claimed.

Education doesn’t always pay in Sweden: study
Nurses are paid less than a lot of non-college graduates. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Half of Swedish graduates would earn more in their lifetime if they instead started work straight after high school, a new study shows.

What's On in Sweden
Five ways to discover something new in Sweden this weekend
Frank Zappa's symphonic works will be performed in Malmö this weekend. Photo: Anonymous/AP

From a performance of Frank Zappa's unheralded orchestral work to an intriguing combination of circus and opera, Sweden has some unique events this weekend.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »


6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available