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Agency forces amputee to prove leg still gone

Rebecca Martin · 9 Sep 2011, 11:32

Published: 09 Sep 2011 11:32 GMT+02:00

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“It is ridiculous to say the least. It defies all common sense,” Jansson told The Local.

Eleven years ago, Jansson was forced to have his leg amputated after a long battle with cancer.

Despite the fact that it is unlikely his condition will get better, he regularly has to prove to local authorities that he has enough trouble walking to need a disabled parking permit.

“I go down to Umeå once every three years and have a doctor establish my leg is still gone,“ he said.

According to Jansson the trip makes him lose a day's wages as well as using up a medical appointment someone else might have been more in need of.

But according to the local authorities, the medical certificate is necessary in order to establish who needs a permit and who can manage without, as there are a limited number of disabled parking spaces in the area.

“It is really difficult for us to judge these things and that is why we need the medical recommendation,“ said traffic administrator Annica Persson from Skellefteå municipality to The Local.

She also pointed out that there are very many prosthetic aids for those lacking limbs today, which also makes it difficult for laymen to know who can manage without a permit and who can't.

For Jansson, however, a prosthetic leg is not an option.

But even if it was, he doesn't think he would manage without a disabled parking permit if he was trying to carry shopping bags, manage crutches, and forced to walk some distance to his car.

But according to Persson the authorities are not allowed to take carrying groceries into consideration.

“We are only allowed to make our judgement from the person's ability to walk,” she said.

However, Persson also said that it is in fact possible for the authorities to make an exception from the rule and use the same medical note twice, provided the certificate has enough information in it.

She also said that using it more than two times would probably not be possible, or the certificate would be considered outdated.

Story continues below…

“But even so, the actual application for the permit still has to be handed in every three years,“ Persson said.

Jansson understands that it is not in fact Persson and the local authority that make up the rules, but he still thinks that it is ridiculous that the permit has to be renewed so often.

“It's not like my leg is going to grow back,” he told The Local.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:11 September 9, 2011 by Addendum
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." A. Einstein
12:32 September 9, 2011 by JulieLou40
Jesus. It's not as if his leg is going to grow back, is it? And even with prosthetics, you still have mobility issues and/or pain issues which mean you can't wear them for long. You'd think that they could introduce a common sense policy regarding people like Mr Jansson and give him a permanent parking permit to cut down on future hassle, wouldn't you?
13:07 September 9, 2011 by Iron E
There's a typo. "Despite the fact that it is unlikely his condition will get better he regularly have to prove..." It should be "he regularly has to prove".
13:48 September 9, 2011 by Addendum
Related concept: Tommy Boll has been paralyzed and wheelchair bound, following a stroke 15 years ago. He cannot feed, bathe,brush his teeth, or use the bathroom by himself.

Following a recent, lightening-quick home inspection however, the Swedish Medical Dictatorship determined that Boll no longer needs the same level of assistance.

With new rules, the Färäkringskassan/Socialstyrelsen Stasi have reduced his assistance to 9.5 total hours each week. CRYING, Boll told the paper that he doesn't know how he will now survive: eat, defecate, or bathe.

Boll lives in Hallands län.


Swedish hell care. Potemkin Sjukvård.
14:40 September 9, 2011 by Abe L
Right, these kind of cases should get a lifelong disabled parking permit. There is no reason to treat this otherwise or similar to temporarily disabled people.
15:50 September 9, 2011 by Svensksmith
And here some politicians get elected to what amounts to a life term. Go figure.
16:32 September 9, 2011 by Prat
Nobody is expecting Fredrik Jansson's leg to grow back from a stump.

But not all amputees are highly disabled - look at sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Or Anders Olsson, the paralyzed man who recently set a swim record from Alcatraz.

The question is disability. Is Freddie worse-off than frail older folk and a host of others with chronic mobility problems?
16:44 September 9, 2011 by tgolan
One think is certain That It is really difficult is see how traffic administrator Annica Persson is competent to work for Skellefteå municipality " anyone who is as stupid as she seams to be should be working for the British government not a Swedish one
16:57 September 9, 2011 by WikidEva
I'm speechless o_O just...... without words to this. Give the man his permit -lifetime!!! Reinfeldt and Co. is going down next election for their preposterous "savings"-politics. Earth core!
17:13 September 9, 2011 by RobinHood
Why does this man need a permit at all?

This year, four British amputees walked to the North Pole, and two amputees exceeded able bodied athletes in swimming and running. WW2Fighter pilot Douglas Bader had no legs at all, and he flew and fought in a Spitfire. US navy diver and amputee Carl Brashear overcame his disability to rise to the top (well bottom really) of his profession.

Oh to have Fredrik, Bader and Braeshear in the same room for a few minutes. He can tell them why he can't make it across the carpark twice a day.
18:07 September 9, 2011 by Expat1
Friends, read the story. It is about a competition to find the most disabled people to give them the parking permit. If there are not enough parking spaces for everyone who needs one, then someone has to decide who needs them the most. It is quite possible for Mr Jansson to be less able to walk one year, but loose his place to a "more disabled" person.

The argument is about how we deal with scarce resources. If there are not enough spaces for all those in need, you can ration them or make more spaces available.

Mr Jansson needs to learn to play the game. Refuse to get out of his car because the building where the assessment takes place is too far from the car park. Refuse to leave reception as it is too far to walk. Refuse to go up the stairs. usually, if you can get to the room where the assessment takes place, then you have failed the test - they think that you can walk!
18:08 September 9, 2011 by iammucow
@RobinHood Not all amputations are the same. In the case of a leg amputation, if it's below the knee and no other damage at or above the knee, modern prosthetic limbs can largely restore mobility. If it's above the knee, mobility will remain heavily impaired even with prosthetic limbs, and few amputees may not even be able to use prosthetic limbs.

You're also comparing very different situations. The men you're speaking of overcame their disadvantages to do something they're passionate about, but they didn't forgo basic assistance when it would have helped them. They had a goal to achieve, Fredrik just wants to make his life a little easier.
19:19 September 9, 2011 by Addendum
I had a friend outside of Sweden some years ago with a prosthetic limb, and she said the limbs were extrememely expensive, and I believe she also had back problems related to the loss of her leg. There are stories of people in Sweden not getting proper wheelchairs or physical therapy bc of the expense. See cederholm.net/Swedish-health-care-sicker-than-sicko.htm

So while it's awesome to think of the potential that some people have, not everyone's body is probably so adaptable and not everyone has access to the great technologies that exists...

Also to my understanding, you are not allowed to supplement what is provided by the state. If there is some awesome new medicine, for example, you aren't allowed to buy it with your own money, nor can an annonymous donor buy it for you out of the kindness of their heart. So, for example, if my neighbor could benefit from x medicine, the neighborhood can't just all chip in bc we love Sven and want him to have the help he needs in Sweden. The state just says no, throws a party for the princess, and buys more refugees instead. (Medical dictatorship.)

If the state has not approved that the medicine is within the state's budget, then no one can have the medicine. There's probably something like this related to prosthetic limbs and wheel chairs. I've had access to some really healing, major life-quality improving medicine that does not exist within the Swedish borders. It's disgusting that so many people suffer so unnecessarily here!!! It's disgusting to pay for health care that you don't recieve and be forced to leave the country and go into debt to buy real health care.
19:26 September 9, 2011 by Decedo
Common sense doesn't come into play when dealing with socialist governments. On the other hand, at least they check and try and keep a control on it. In Canada, it seems every third car has a diabled parking pass. I once saw a F350 pick up with a 6 inch lift kit with one hanging on the mirror.
20:12 September 9, 2011 by terriergirl
Here in the UK my friend has to visit the jobcentre twice a year to confirm that she is still blind.
20:38 September 9, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Fredrik Jansson and his brave fight to avoid having to go for an interview every three years to qualify for his benefits. Finally, a proper Swedish hero for our time. Grow up just like him son. When do we get to see the movie?
21:49 September 9, 2011 by skumdum
No big deal.
22:06 September 9, 2011 by Coalbanks
Same here in Canada. Plus in some provinces we have to pay for the md's letter to authorize the permit
02:06 September 10, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
How COLD: Annica Persson says "There are many prosthetics for those lacking limbs today." Why not have your leg amputated lady, then go and get one of the prosthetics that you believe is equal to that of a real leg, then come back and tell us maneuverability is so easy. And, she goes on to say: "using [the handicapped parking permit] more than two times would 'probably' not be possible, or the certificate would be considered outdated." What's so IMPOSSIBLE about it? Persons with a prosthetic device should be given a PERMANENT parking permit. This person does not belong working in the capacity that she is: she is cold, unreasonable, and has no idea what it is like to be handicapped. Also, Skellefteå, Umeå, and the whole north of Sweden have a very harsh winter that seems to last forever, compounding matters even worse for the disabled like Fredrik Jansson. Have some compassion woman, it isn't coming out of your paycheck, you tight b*i*t*c*h.
08:49 September 10, 2011 by AussieSweden
Its not isolated, i have a friend in Australia who also has to go in every year to prove he still has a severed spine... uhh yeah just wanted to make sure you stil cant walk...
12:40 September 10, 2011 by jacquelinee
Welcome to Sweden, where the lemmings follow unquestioningly all the guidelines no matter how utterly and and totally apparent the absurd stupidity is. Once again......... I know, I know. As so many of our Swedish posters have pointed out repeatedly, " That's the way we do things here, if you don't like it leave."

Of course, when you look at the flip side of the coin, the way the medical care is in Sweden, it would not be a far stretch of the imagination that the well educated Swedish physicians would be in total agreement that human limbs are just like the limbs of " Kräftor". They can regenerate and grow back.
13:25 September 10, 2011 by soultraveler3
The commenter at #20 has a good idea, let her go in and have a leg removed and then see if she's singing the same tune. Hell, she should have a nice stay in one of the fabulous retirement homes here while she's at it. Things might change.
13:51 September 10, 2011 by RobinHood
The trolls are going into a frenzy. Two of them actually want to chop off one of the legs of a Swedish civil servant. More stories like this please The Local.
16:45 September 10, 2011 by Indignerad
Baffled by the people who actually think that this is somehow unique to Sweden.
01:08 September 11, 2011 by Indignerad
Uh, yes. And people are suggesting that this is something that would only happen in Sweden, which is clearly wrong. The fact that we're discussing Sweden doesn't mean you have to lie about Sweden as well.
10:30 September 11, 2011 by johan rebel
The parking permit system for disabled persons in Sweden is subject to massive fraud, there is a huge and very lucrative trade in dishonestly obtained and stolen permits. It is therefore quite reasonable that the authorities verify eligibility. Applying the regulations with a modicum of flexibility and common sense would be nice, but hey, we are talking about bureaucrats here.

And why the heck does this guy have to take a day off and travel to Umeå? Aren't there any doctors in Skellefteå?

14:07 September 11, 2011 by Streja
There is no socialist government in Sweden. We have a conservative government.
16:28 September 11, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
Clearly a need to issue at least some permanent disabled parking passes, such as in this man's case.

The 'hidden' epidemic here is the fierce anti-car culture in Sweden, which, among other things, overly limits the number of available parking spaces to abled and disabled drivers alike, particularly in Stockholm's centre.

My prediction is that approximately 10 years from now the last car Swedish owner will be tossed into prison for possession of a motorized vehicle.
18:11 September 11, 2011 by Indignerad
lol, there is no anti-car culture in Sweden, but believe me, I wish there was.
18:15 September 11, 2011 by k2kats
How disappointing to see this type of discrimination being perpetuated by someone who has been charged with the responsibility to know better.

The goal should be to provide access to persons with disabilities on a case by case basis when an individual's physical limitations otherwise restricts it.

Requiring physician verification is reasonable. Having a layperson confirm the physician's recommendation by viewing the individual is not; it erroneously empowers non-medical personnel to "wish away" bona fide needs and assumes all qualifying disabilities are visible.

If there is an issue with fraud (and not just discrimination against individuals with hidden disabilities who require and are eligible for disabled parking), a reasonable approach would be to better specify the information that is needed from physicians and then cross check their credentials to ensure they are currently licensed and in good standing.
03:27 September 12, 2011 by swedepie
If it is like here in California, USA, many parking permits issued to now deceased individuals are being used by members of their family or sold to others for profit. It's too bad that the poor behavior of some causes grief for those who really need the permit.
10:27 September 13, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
To hell with your Swedish civil servant. You and her are TROLLS. You don't know what it's like not to have a limb. Perhaps that experience is just around the corner for you.
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